The archaeon Methanosarcina acetivorans contains a protein disulfide reductase with an iron-sulfur cluster

Daniel J. Lessner, James G. Ferry

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


Methanosarcina acetivorans, a strictly anaerobic methane-producing species belonging to the domain Archaea, contains a gene cluster annotated with homologs encoding oxidative stress proteins. One of the genes (MA3736) is annotated as a gene encoding an uncharacterized carboxymuconolactone decarboxylase, an enzyme required for aerobic growth with aromatic compounds by species in the domain Bacteria. Methane-producing species are not known to utilize aromatic compounds, suggesting that MA3736 is incorrectly annotated. The product of MA3736, overproduced in Escherichia coli, had protein disulfide reductase activity dependent on a C67XXC70 motif not found in carboxymuconolactone decarboxylase. We propose that MA3736 be renamed mdrA (methanosarcina disulfide reductase). Further, unlike carboxymuconolactone decarboxylase, MdrA contained an Fe-S cluster. Binding of the Fe-S cluster was dependent on essential cysteines C67 and C70, while cysteines C39 and C107 were not required. Loss of the Fe-S cluster resulted in conversion of MdrA from an inactive hexamer to a trimer with protein disulfide reductase activity. The data suggest that MdrA is the prototype of a previously unrecognized protein disulfide reductase family which contains an intermolecular Fe-S cluster that controls oligomerization as a mechanism to regulate protein disulfide reductase activity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)7475-7484
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of bacteriology
Issue number20
StatePublished - Oct 2007

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Microbiology
  • Molecular Biology


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