Applied and environmental microbiology

Tetrathionate-forming thiosulfate dehydrogenase from the acidophilic, chemolithoautotrophic bacterium Acidithiobacillus ferrooxidans.

PMID 23064330


Thiosulfate dehydrogenase is known to play a significant role in thiosulfate oxidation in the acidophilic, obligately chemolithoautotroph, Acidithiobacillus ferrooxidans. Enzyme activity measured using ferricyanide as the electron acceptor was detected in cell extracts of A. ferrooxidans ATCC 23270 grown on tetrathionate or sulfur, but no activity was detected in ferrous iron-grown cells. The enzyme was enriched 63-fold from cell extracts of tetrathionate-grown cells. Maximum enzyme activity (13.8 U mg(-1)) was observed at pH 2.5 and 70°C. The end product of the enzyme reaction was tetrathionate. The enzyme reduced neither ubiquinone nor horse heart cytochrome c, which serves as an electron acceptor. A major protein with a molecular mass of ∼25 kDa was detected in the partially purified preparation. Heme was not detected in the preparation, according to the results of spectroscopic analysis and heme staining. The open reading frame of AFE_0042 was identified by BLAST by using the N-terminal amino acid sequence of the protein. The gene was found within a region that was previously noted for sulfur metabolism-related gene clustering. The recombinant protein produced in Escherichia coli had a molecular mass of ∼25 kDa and showed thiosulfate dehydrogenase activity, with maximum enzyme activity (6.5 U mg(-1)) observed at pH 2.5 and 50°C.