Biochemie der syntrophen Oxidation von Fettsäuren und Alkoholen

  • FB Biologie
  Schmidt, Alexander; Müller, Nicolai; Schink, Bernhard; Schleheck, David (2013): A Proteomic View at the Biochemistry of Syntrophic Butyrate Oxidation in Syntrophomonas wolfei PLoS ONE. 2013, 8(2), e56905. eISSN 1932-6203. Available under: doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0056905

A Proteomic View at the Biochemistry of Syntrophic Butyrate Oxidation in Syntrophomonas wolfei


In syntrophic conversion of butyrate to methane and CO2, butyrate is oxidized to acetate by secondary fermenting bacteria such as Syntrophomonas wolfei in close cooperation with methanogenic partner organisms, e.g., Methanospirillum hungatei. This process involves an energetically unfavourable shift of electrons from the level of butyryl-CoA oxidation to the substantially lower redox potential of proton and/or CO2 reduction, in order to transfer these electrons to the methanogenic partner via hydrogen and/or formate.
In the present study, all prominent membrane-bound and soluble proteins expressed in S. wolfei specifically during syntrophic growth with butyrate, in comparison to pure-culture growth with crotonate, were examined by one- and two-dimensional gel electrophoresis, and identified by peptide fingerprinting-mass spectrometry. A membrane-bound, externally oriented, quinone-linked formate dehydrogenase complex was expressed at high level specifically during syntrophic butyrate oxidation, comprising a selenocystein-linked catalytic subunit with a membrane-translocation pathway signal (TAT), a membrane-bound iron-sulfur subunit, and a membrane-bound cytochrome. Soluble hydrogenases were expressed at high levels specifically during growth with crotonate. The results were confirmed by native protein gel electrophoresis, by formate dehydrogenase and hydrogenase-activity staining, and by analysis of formate dehydrogenase and hydrogenase activities in intact cells and cell extracts. Furthermore, constitutive expression of a membrane-bound, internally oriented iron-sulfur oxidoreductase (DUF224) was confirmed, together with expression of soluble electron-transfer flavoproteins (EtfAB) and two previously identified butyryl-CoA dehydrogenases.
Our findings allow to depict an electron flow scheme for syntrophic butyrate oxidation in S. wolfei. Electrons derived from butyryl-CoA are transferred through a membrane-bound EtfAB:quinone oxidoreductase (DUF224) to a menaquinone cycle and further via a b-type cytochrome to an externally oriented formate dehydrogenase. Hence, an ATP hydrolysis-driven proton-motive force across the cytoplasmatic membrane would provide the energy input for the electron potential shift necessary for formate formation.

Origin (projects)

Funding sources
Name Project no. Description Period
Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft515/08Weitere FP-Nummer 745/09
Further information
Period: 01.01.2008 – 31.10.2012