The formate transporter FocA was described to switch its mode of operation from a passive export channel at high external pH to a secondary active formate/H(+) importer at low pH. The crystal structure of Salmonella typhimurium FocA at pH 4.0 shows that this switch involves a major rearrangement of the amino termini of individual protomers in the pentameric… (More)
A high-resolution crystallographic analysis of the nitrogenase MoFe-protein reveals a previously unrecognized ligand coordinated to six iron atoms in the center of the catalytically essential FeMo-cofactor. The electron density for this ligand is masked in structures with resolutions lower than 1.55 angstroms, owing to Fourier series termination ripples… (More)
GlnK proteins regulate the active uptake of ammonium by Amt transport proteins by inserting their regulatory T-loops into the transport channels of the Amt trimer and physically blocking substrate passage. They sense the cellular nitrogen status through 2-oxoglutarate, and the energy level of the cell by binding both ATP and ADP with different affinities.… (More)
The identity of the interstitial light atom in the center of the FeMo cofactor of nitrogenase has been enigmatic since its discovery. Atomic-resolution x-ray diffraction data and an electron spin echo envelope modulation (ESEEM) analysis now provide direct evidence that the ligand is a carbon species.
Iron-sulfur flavoproteins (ISF) constitute a widespread family of redox-active proteins in anaerobic prokaryotes. Based on sequence homologies, their overall structure is expected to be similar to that of flavodoxins, but in addition to a flavin mononucleotide cofactor they also contain a cubane-type [4Fe:4S] cluster. In order to gain further insight into… (More)
The [Mo:7Fe:9S:C] iron-molybdenum cofactor (FeMoco) of nitrogenase is the largest known metal cluster and catalyses the 6-electron reduction of dinitrogen to ammonium in biological nitrogen fixation. Only recently its atomic structure was clarified, while its reactivity and electronic structure remain under debate. Here we show that for its resting S=3/2… (More)
The intermolecular asymmetric Stetter reaction is an almost unexplored transformation for biocatalysts. Previously reported thiamine diphosphate (ThDP)-dependent PigD from Serratia marcescens is the first enzyme identified to catalyze the Stetter reaction of α,β-unsaturated ketones (Michael acceptor substrates) and α-keto acids. PigD is involved in the… (More)
Subtle differences: Two recent crystal structures have provided the first insight into nitrate/nitrite exchangers (example shown with bound nitrite), which are crucial to bacterial metabolism. A direct comparison of the structures reveals how the proteins can distinguish between their highly similar substrates and translate this into a conformational change… (More)