Ferredoxin

Ferredoxin

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Ferredoxins are iron-sulfur protein
Iron-sulfur protein
Iron-sulfur proteins are proteins characterized by the presence of iron-sulfur clusters containing sulfide-linked di-, tri-, and tetrairon centers in variable oxidation states...

s that mediate electron transfer
Electron transfer
Electron transfer is the process by which an electron moves from an atom or a chemical species to another atom or chemical species...

 in a range of metabolic reactions. The term "ferredoxin" was coined by D.C. Wharton of the DuPont Co. and applied to the "iron protein" first purified in 1962 by Mortenson, Valentine, and Carnahan from the anaerobic bacterium Clostridium pasteurianum.

Another redox protein, isolated from spinach chloroplast
Chloroplast
Chloroplasts are organelles found in plant cells and other eukaryotic organisms that conduct photosynthesis. Chloroplasts capture light energy to conserve free energy in the form of ATP and reduce NADP to NADPH through a complex set of processes called photosynthesis.Chloroplasts are green...

s by Tagawa and Arnon in 1962, was termed "chloroplast ferredoxin". The chloroplast ferredoxin is involved in both cyclic and non-cyclic photophosphorylation
Photophosphorylation
The production of ATP using the energy of sunlight is called photophosphorylation. Only two sources of energy are available to living organisms: sunlight and reduction-oxidation reactions...

 reactions of photosynthesis
Photosynthesis
Photosynthesis is a chemical process that converts carbon dioxide into organic compounds, especially sugars, using the energy from sunlight. Photosynthesis occurs in plants, algae, and many species of bacteria, but not in archaea. Photosynthetic organisms are called photoautotrophs, since they can...

. In non-cyclic photophosphorylation, ferredoxin is the last electron acceptor and reduces the enzyme NADP+ reductase. It accepts electrons produced from sunlight
Sunlight
Sunlight, in the broad sense, is the total frequency spectrum of electromagnetic radiation given off by the Sun. On Earth, sunlight is filtered through the Earth's atmosphere, and solar radiation is obvious as daylight when the Sun is above the horizon.When the direct solar radiation is not blocked...

-excited chlorophyll
Chlorophyll
Chlorophyll is a green pigment found in almost all plants, algae, and cyanobacteria. Its name is derived from the Greek words χλωρος, chloros and φύλλον, phyllon . Chlorophyll is an extremely important biomolecule, critical in photosynthesis, which allows plants to obtain energy from light...

 and transfers them to the enzyme ferredoxin:NADP+ oxidoreductase .

Ferredoxins are small proteins containing iron
Iron
Iron is a chemical element with the symbol Fe and atomic number 26. It is a metal in the first transition series. It is the most common element forming the planet Earth as a whole, forming much of Earth's outer and inner core. It is the fourth most common element in the Earth's crust...

 and sulfur
Sulfur
Sulfur or sulphur is the chemical element with atomic number 16. In the periodic table it is represented by the symbol S. It is an abundant, multivalent non-metal. Under normal conditions, sulfur atoms form cyclic octatomic molecules with chemical formula S8. Elemental sulfur is a bright yellow...

 atoms organized as iron-sulfur cluster
Iron-sulfur cluster
For biological Fe-S clusters, see iron-sulfur proteins.Iron-sulfur clusters are ensembles of iron and sulfide centres. Fe-S clusters are most often discussed in the context of the biological role for iron-sulfur proteins. Many Fe-S clusters are known in the area of organometallic chemistry and as...

s. These biological "capacitors" can accept or discharge electrons, the effect being change in the oxidation states (+2 or +3) of the iron atoms. This way, ferredoxin acts as electron transfer agents in biological redox
Redox
Redox reactions describe all chemical reactions in which atoms have their oxidation state changed....

 reactions.

Other bioinorganic electron transport systems include rubredoxin
Rubredoxin
Rubredoxins are a class of low-molecular-weight iron-containing proteins found in sulfur-metabolizing bacteria and archaea. Sometimes rubredoxins are classified as iron-sulfur proteins; however, in contrast to iron-sulfur proteins, rubredoxins do not contain inorganic sulfide.Like cytochromes,...

s, cytochromes, blue copper proteins, and the structurally related Rieske protein
Rieske protein
Rieske proteins are iron-sulfur protein components of cytochrome bc1 complexes and cytochrome b6f complexes which were first discovered and isolated by John S. Rieske and co-workers in 1964. It is a unique [2Fe-2S] cluster in that one of the two Fe atoms is coordinated by two histidine residues...

s.

Ferredoxins can be classified according to the nature of their iron-sulfur cluster
Iron-sulfur cluster
For biological Fe-S clusters, see iron-sulfur proteins.Iron-sulfur clusters are ensembles of iron and sulfide centres. Fe-S clusters are most often discussed in the context of the biological role for iron-sulfur proteins. Many Fe-S clusters are known in the area of organometallic chemistry and as...

s and by sequence similarity.

Fe2S2 ferredoxins


Members of the 2Fe-2S ferredoxin family have a general core structure consisting of beta(2)-alpha-beta(2), which includes putidaredoxin and terpredoxin, and adrenodoxin. They are proteins of around one hundred amino acids with four conserved cysteine residues to which the 2Fe-2S cluster is ligated. This conserved region is also found as a domain in various metabolic enzymes and in multidomain proteins, such as aldehyde oxidoreductase (N-terminal), xanthine oxidase (N-terminal), phthalate dioxygenase reductase (C-terminal), succinate dehydrogenase iron-sulphur protein (N-terminal), and methane monooxygenase reductase (N-terminal).

Plant-type ferredoxins


One group of ferredoxins, originally found in chloroplast
Chloroplast
Chloroplasts are organelles found in plant cells and other eukaryotic organisms that conduct photosynthesis. Chloroplasts capture light energy to conserve free energy in the form of ATP and reduce NADP to NADPH through a complex set of processes called photosynthesis.Chloroplasts are green...

 membranes, has been termed "chloroplast-type" or "plant-type". The active center is a [Fe2S2] cluster, where the iron atoms are tetrahedrally coordinated both by inorganic sulfur atoms and by sulfurs provided by four conserved cysteine
Cysteine
Cysteine is an α-amino acid with the chemical formula HO2CCHCH2SH. It is a non-essential amino acid, which means that it is biosynthesized in humans. Its codons are UGU and UGC. The side chain on cysteine is thiol, which is polar and thus cysteine is usually classified as a hydrophilic amino acid...

 (Cys) residues.

In chloroplasts, Fe2S2 ferredoxins function as electron carriers in the photosynthetic electron transport chain
Photophosphorylation
The production of ATP using the energy of sunlight is called photophosphorylation. Only two sources of energy are available to living organisms: sunlight and reduction-oxidation reactions...

 and as electron donors to various cellular proteins, such as glutamate synthase, nitrate reductase and sulfite reductase. In hydroxylating bacterial dioxygenase systems, they serve as intermediate electron-transfer carriers between reductase flavoproteins and oxygenase.

Thioredoxin-like ferredoxins


The Fe2S2 ferredoxin from Clostridium pasteurianum (Cp2FeFd) has been recognized as distinct protein family on the basis of its amino acid sequence, spectroscopic properties of its iron-sulfur cluster and the unique ligand swapping ability of two cysteine ligands to the [Fe2S2] cluster. Although the physiological role of this ferredoxin remains unclear, a strong and specific interaction of Cp2FeFd with the molybdenum-iron protein of nitrogenase
Nitrogenase
Nitrogenases are enzymes used by some organisms to fix atmospheric nitrogen gas . It is the only known family of enzymes that accomplish this process. Dinitrogen is quite inert because of the strength of its N-N triple bond...

 has been revealed. Homologous ferredoxins from Azotobacter vinelandii
Azotobacter vinelandii
Azotobacter vinelandii is diazotroph that can fix nitrogen while grown aerobically. It is a genetically tractable system that is used to study nitrogen fixation...

(Av2FeFdI) and Aquifex aeolicus (AaFd) have been characterized. The crystal structure of AaFd has been solved. AaFd exists as a dimer. The structure of AaFd monomer is different from other Fe2S2 ferredoxins. The fold belongs to the α+β class, with first four β-strands and two α-helices adopting a variant of the thioredoxin
Thioredoxin
Thioredoxin is a class of small redox proteins known to be present in all organisms. It plays a role in many important biological processes. In humans, it is encoded by the TXN gene. Loss-of-function mutation of either of the two human thioredoxin genes is lethal at the four-cell stage of the...

 fold.

Adrenodoxin-type ferredoxins



Adrenodoxin is expressed in mammals including humans. The human variant of adrenodoxin is referred to as ferredoxin 1
FDX1
Adrenodoxin, mitochondrial also known as adrenodoxin or hepatoredoxin or ferredoxin-1 is a protein that in humans is encoded by the FDX1 gene...

. Adrenodoxin, putidaredoxin, and terpredoxin are soluble Fe2S2 proteins that act as single electron carriers. In mitochondrial monooxygenase systems, adrenodoxin transfers an electron from NADPH:adrenodoxin reductase
Ferredoxin-NADP+ reductase
In enzymology, a ferredoxin-NADP reductase abbreviated FNR, is an enzyme that catalyzes the chemical reactionThe 3 substrates of this enzyme are reduced ferredoxin, NADP, and H, whereas its two products are oxidized ferredoxin and NADPH...

 to membrane-bound cytochrome P450. In bacteria, putidaredoxin and terpredoxin serve as electron carriers between corresponding NADH-dependent ferredoxin reductases and soluble P450s. The exact functions of other members of this family are not known, although Escherichia coli Fdx is shown to be involved in biogenesis of Fe-S clusters. Despite low sequence similarity between adrenodoxin-type and plant-type ferredoxins, the two classes have a similar folding topology.

Ferredoxin-1 in humans participates in the synthesis of thyroid hormones. It also transfers electrons from adrenodoxin reductase to the cholesterol side chain cleavage cytochrome P450. FDX-1 has the capability to bind to metals and proteins. It can be found within the cellular mitochondrial matrix.

Fe4S4 and Fe3S4 ferredoxins


The [Fe4S4] ferredoxins may be further subdivided into low-potential (bacterial-type) and high-potential (HiPIP) ferredoxins.

Low- and high-potential ferredoxins are related by the following redox scheme:
The formal oxidation numbers of the iron ions can be [2Fe3+, 2Fe2+] or [1Fe3+, 3Fe2+] in low-potential ferredoxins. The oxidation numbers of the iron ions in high-potential ferredoxins can be [3Fe3+, 1Fe2+] or [2Fe3+, 2Fe2+].

Bacterial-type ferredoxins



A group of Fe4S4 ferredoxins, originally found in bacteria, has been termed "bacterial-type". Bacterial-type ferredoxins may in turn be subdivided into further groups, based on their sequence properties. Most contain at least one conserved domain, including four cysteine residues that bind to a [Fe4S4] cluster. In Pyrococcus furiosus Fe4S4 ferredoxin, one of conserved Cys residues is substituted with aspartic acid.

During the evolution of bacterial-type ferredoxins, intrasequence gene duplication, transposition and fusion events occurred, resulting in the appearance of proteins with multiple iron-sulfur centers. In some bacterial ferredoxins, one of the duplicated domains has lost one or more of the four conserved Cys residues. These domains have either lost their iron-sulfur binding property or bind to a [Fe3S4] cluster instead of a [Fe4S4] cluster and dicluster-type.

3-D structures are known for a number of monocluster and dicluster bacterial-type ferredoxins. The fold belongs to the α+β class, with 2-7 α-helices and four β-strands forming a barrel-like structure, and an extruded loop containing three "proximal" Cys ligands of the iron-sulfur cluster.

High-potential iron-sulfur proteins


High-potential iron-sulfur proteins (HiPIPs) form a unique family of Fe4S4 ferredoxins that function in anaerobic electron transport chains. Some HiPIPs have a redox potential higher than any other known iron-sulfur protein (e.g., HiPIP from Rhodopila globiformis has a redox potential of ca. 450 mV). Several HiPIPs have so far been characterized structurally, their folds belonging to the α+β class. As in other bacterial ferredoxins, the [Fe4S4] cluster adopts a cubane-like conformation and is ligated to the protein via four Cys residues.

Human proteins from ferredoxin family

  • 2Fe-2S: AOX1; FDX1
    FDX1
    Adrenodoxin, mitochondrial also known as adrenodoxin or hepatoredoxin or ferredoxin-1 is a protein that in humans is encoded by the FDX1 gene...

    ; FDX1L; NDUFS1
    NDUFS1
    NADH-ubiquinone oxidoreductase 75 kDa subunit, mitochondrial is an enzyme that in humans is encoded by the NDUFS1 gene.- Function :The protein encoded by this gene belongs to the complex I 75 kDa subunit family. Mammalian complex I is composed of 45 different subunits. It locates at the...

    ; SDHB
    SDHB
    Succinate dehydrogenase [ubiquinone] iron-sulfur subunit, mitochondrial also known as iron-sulfur subunit of complex II is a protein that in humans is encoded by the SDHB gene....

    ; XDH
    Xanthine dehydrogenase
    Xanthine dehydrogenase, also known as XDH, is a protein that, in humans, is encoded by the XDH gene.-Function:Xanthine dehydrogenase belongs to the group of molybdenum-containing hydroxylases involved in the oxidative metabolism of purines. The enzyme is a homodimer...

    ;
  • 4Fe-4S: ABCE1; DPYD
    DPYD
    Dihydropyrimidine dehydrogenase [NADP+] is an enzyme that in humans is encoded by the DPYD gene.-Further reading:...

    ; NDUFS8
    NDUFS8
    NADH dehydrogenase [ubiquinone] iron-sulfur protein 8, mitochondrial also known as NADH-ubiquinone oxidoreductase 23 kDa subunit is an enzyme that in humans is encoded by the NDUFS8 gene.- Function :...

    ;

External links

- 2Fe-2S ferredoxin subdomain - Adrenodoxin - 4Fe-4S ferredoxin, iron-sulfur binding - High potential iron-sulfur protein - X-ray structure of thioredoxin-like ferredoxin from Aquifex aeolicus (AaFd)