The completely sequenced genome of the cyanobacterium Synechocystis PCC6803 contains three open reading frames, petC1, petC2, and petC3, encoding putative Rieske iron-sulfur proteins. After heterologous overexpression, all three gene products have been characterized and shown to be Rieske proteins as typified by sequence analysis and EPR spectroscopy. Two of the overproduced proteins contained already incorporated iron-sulfur clusters, whereas the third one formed unstable aggregates, in which the FeS cluster had to be reconstituted after refolding of the denatured protein. Although EPR spectroscopy showed typical FeS signals for all Rieske proteins, an unusual low midpoint potential was revealed for PetC3 by EPR redox titration. Detailed characterization of Synechocystis membranes indicated that all three Rieske proteins are expressed under physiological conditions. Both for PetC1 and PetC3 the association with the thylakoid membrane was shown, and both could be identified, although in different amounts, in the isolated cytochrome b 6f complex. The considerably lower redox potential determined for PetC3 indicates heterogeneous cytochrome b 6f complexes in Synechocystis and suggests still to be established alternative electron transport routes.
Research Areas and Centers
- Academic Focus: Center for Infection and Inflammation Research (ZIEL)