Conformationally Gated Electron Transfer in Nitrogenase. Isolation, Purification, and Characterization of Nitrogenase From Gluconacetobacter diazotrophicus.

Citation data:

Methods in enzymology, ISSN: 1557-7988, Vol: 599, Page: 355-386

Publication Year:
Usage 9
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Repository URL:
10.1016/bs.mie.2017.09.007; 10.1016/s0076-6879(17)x0016-5
Owens, Cedric P.; Tezcan, Faik A.
Elsevier BV; Academic Press
Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology; Amino Acids, Peptides, and Proteins; Environmental Chemistry; Enzymes and Coenzymes; Laboratory and Basic Science Research; Organic Chemistry; Other Chemistry; Physical Chemistry; Research Methods in Life Sciences
article description
Nitrogenase is a complex, bacterial enzyme that catalyzes the ATP-dependent reduction of dinitrogen (N) to ammonia (NH). In its most prevalent form, it consists of two proteins, the catalytic molybdenum-iron protein (MoFeP) and its specific reductase, the iron protein (FeP). A defining feature of nitrogenase is that electron and proton transfer processes linked to substrate reduction are synchronized by conformational changes driven by ATP-dependent FeP-MoFeP interactions. Yet, despite extensive crystallographic, spectroscopic, and biochemical information on nitrogenase, the structural basis of the ATP-dependent synchronization mechanism is not understood in detail. In this chapter, we summarize some of our efforts toward obtaining such an understanding. Experimental investigations of the structure-function relationships in nitrogenase are challenged by the fact that it cannot be readily expressed heterologously in nondiazotrophic bacteria, and the purification protocols for nitrogenase are only known for a small number of diazotrophic organisms. Here, we present methods for purifying and characterizing nitrogenase from a new model organism, Gluconacetobacter diazotrophicus. We also describe procedures for observing redox-dependent conformational changes in G. diazotrophicus nitrogenase by X-ray crystallography and electron paramagnetic resonance spectroscopy, which have provided new insights into the redox-dependent conformational gating processes in nitrogenase.