Accessory proteins functioning selectively and pleiotropically in the biosynthesis of [Nife] hydrogenases in Thiocapsa roseoporsicina

Gergely Maróti, Barna D. Fodor, Gábor Rákhely, Ákos T. Kovács, Solmaz Arvani, Kornél L. Kovács

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32 Citations (Scopus)


There are at least two membrane-bound (HynSL and HupSL) and one soluble (HoxEFUYH) [NiFe] hydrogenases in Thiocapsa roseopersicina BBS, a purple sulfur photosynthetic bacterium. Genes coding for accessory proteins that participate in the biosynthesis and maturation of hydrogenases seem to be scattered along the chromosome. Transposon-based mutagenesis was used to locate the hydrogenase accessory genes. Molecular analysis of strains showing mutant phenotypes led to the identification of hupK (hoxV), hypC1, hypC2, hypD, hypE, and hynD genes. The roles of hynD, hupK and the two hypC genes were investigated in detail. The putative HynD was found to be a hydrogenase-specific endoprotease type protein, participating in the maturation of the HynSL enzyme. HupK plays an important role in the formation of the functionally active membrane-bound [NiFe] hydrogenases, but not in the biosynthesis of the soluble enzyme. In-frame deletion mutagenesis showed that HypC proteins were not specific for the maturation of either hydrogenase enzyme. The lack of either HypC protein drastically reduced the activity of every hydrogenase. Hence both HypCs might participate in the maturation of [NiFe] hydrogenases. Homologous complementation with the appropriate genes substantiated the physiological roles of the corresponding gene products in the H2 metabolism of T. roseopersicina.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2218-2227
Number of pages10
JournalEuropean Journal of Biochemistry
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - May 2003


  • Accessory genes
  • Hydrogenase
  • Metalloenzymes
  • Pleiotropic
  • [NiFe] center biosynthesis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry

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