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Biochimica et Biophysica Acta (BBA) - Bioenergetics
Volume 1862 (4), 2021, 148379

Functional diversity of prokaryotic HdrA(BC) modules: Role in flavin-based electron bifurcation processes and beyond

Lena Appela, Max Willisteina, Christiane Dahlb, Ulrich Ermlerc, Matthias Bolla

Fakultät für Biologie – Mikrobiologie, Universität Freiburg, Freiburg, Germany.


In methanogenic archaea, the archetypical complex of heterodisulfide reductase (HdrABC) and hydrogenase (MvhAGD) couples the endergonic reduction of CO2 by H2 to the exergonic reduction of the CoB-S-S-CoM heterodisulfide by H2 via flavin-based electron bifurcation. Presently known enzymes containing HdrA(BC)-like components play key roles in methanogenesis, acetogenesis, respiratory sulfate reduction, lithotrophic reduced sulfur compound oxidation, aromatic compound degradation, fermentations, and probably many further processes. This functional diversity is achieved by a modular architecture of HdrA(BC) enzymes, where a big variety of electron input/output modules may be connected either directly or via adaptor modules to the HdrA(BC) components. Many, but not all HdrA(BC) complexes are proposed to catalyse a flavin-based electron bifurcation/confurcation. Despite the availability of HdrA(BC) crystal structures, fundamental questions of electron transfer and energy coupling processes remain. Here, we address the common properties and functional diversity of HdrA(BC) core modules integrated into electron-transfer machineries of outstanding complexity.

Key words: Flavin-based electron bifurcation, Energy coupling, Heterodisulfide reductase, Anaerobic metabolism, Energy metabolism, Oxidoreductases.

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