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Characterization of the genome region encoding an fdxH-type ferredoxin and a new 2[4Fe-4S] ferredoxin from the nonheterocystous, nitrogen-fixing cyanobacterium Plectonema boryanum PCC 73110.

By B Schrautemeier, A Cassing and H Böhme


A genomic DNA region with four consecutive open reading frames, including an fdxH-type gene, has been sequenced and initially characterized for the nonheterocystous nitrogen-fixing cyanobacterium Plectonema boryanum PCC 73110. The fdxH gene encodes a [2Fe-2S]-type ferredoxin, 98 amino acids in length, with a deduced molecular mass of 10.9 kDa. Conserved residues include two characteristic lysines at positions 10 and 11, shown recently to be important for interaction with nitrogenase reductase (S. Schmitz, B. Schrautermeier, and H. Böhme, Mol. Gen. Genet. 240:455-460, 1993). The gene is transcribed only under anaerobic nitrogenase-inducing conditions, whereas the Plectonema petF gene, encoding a different (type 1) [2Fe-2S] ferredoxin, is only transcribed in cultures growing with combined nitrogen. The fdxH gene was expressed in Escherichia coli as a holoprotein. The purified protein was able to effectively donate electrons to cyanobacterial nitrogenase, whereas PetF from the same organism was not. The occurrence of FdxH in the nonheterocystous genus Plectonema demonstrates for the first time that FdxH-type ferredoxins are not exclusively expressed within heterocysts, as is true for cyanobacteria differentiating these cells for nitrogen fixation under aerobic growth conditions. Two open reading frames that precede fdxH have high similarity to those found at a corresponding location in Anabaena sp. strain PCC 7120. In the latter organism, they are transcribed only under nitrogen-fixing conditions, but the functions of their gene products remain unclear (D. Borthakur, M. Basche, W. J. Buikema, P. B. Borthakur, and R. Haselkorn, Mol. Gen. Genet. 221:227-234, 1990). An fdxB-type gene encoding a 2[4Fe-4S] ferredoxin not previously identified in cyanobacteria is located immediately downstream of fdxH in P. boryanum

Topics: Research Article
Year: 1994
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Provided by: PubMed Central
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