Deciphering structural and functional roles of individual disulfide bonds of the mitochondrial sulfhydryl oxidase Erv1p

Swee Kim Ang, Hui Lu

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    Erv1p is a FAD-dependent sulfhydryl oxidase of the mitochondrial intermembrane space. It contains three conserved disulfide bonds arranged in two CXXC motifs and one CX16C motif. Experimental evidence for the specific roles of the individual disulfide bonds is lacking. In this study, structural and functional roles of the disulfides were dissected systematically using a wide range of biochemical and biophysical methods. Three double cysteine mutants with each pair of cysteines mutated to serines were generated. All of the mutants were purified with the normal FAD binding properties as the wild type Erv1p, showing that none of the three disulfides are essential for FAD binding. Thermal denaturation and trypsin digestion studies showed that the CX16C disulfide plays an important role in stabilizing the folding of Erv1p. To understand the functional role of each disulfide, small molecules and the physiological substrate protein Mia40 were used as electron donors in oxygen consumption assays. We show that both CXXC disulfides are required for Erv1 oxidase activity. The active site disulfide is well protected thus requires the shuttle disulfide for its function. Although both mutants of the CXXC motifs were individually inactive, Erv1p activity was partially recovered by mixing these two mutants together, and the recovery was rapid. Thus, we provided the first experimental evidence of electron transfer between the shuttle and active site disulfides of Erv1p, and we propose that both intersubunit and intermolecular electron transfer can occur. © 2009 by The American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Inc.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)28754-28761
    Number of pages7
    JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
    Issue number42
    Publication statusPublished - 16 Oct 2009


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