Respiratory Selenite Reductase from Bacillus selenitireducens Strain MLS10



Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date


Publication Title

Journal of bacteriology






complex iron-sulfur molybdoenzyme superfamily, dissimilatory selenite reductase, molybdoenzyme


The putative respiratory selenite [Se(IV)] reductase (Srr) from MLS10 has been identified through a polyphasic approach involving genomics, proteomics, and enzymology. Nondenaturing gel assays were used to identify Srr in cell fractions, and the active band was shown to contain a single protein of 80 kDa. The protein was identified through liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS) as a homolog of the catalytic subunit of polysulfide reductase (PsrA). It was found to be encoded as part of an operon that contains six genes that we designated , , s, , , and SrrA is the catalytic subunit (80 kDa), with a twin-arginine translocation (TAT) leader sequence indicative of a periplasmic protein and one putative 4Fe-4S binding site. SrrB is a small subunit (17 kDa) with four putative 4Fe-4S binding sites, SrrC (43 kDa) is an anchoring subunit, and SrrD (24 kDa) is a chaperon protein. Both SrrE (38 kDa) and SrrF (45 kDa) were annotated as rhodanese domain-containing proteins. Phylogenetic analysis revealed that SrrA belonged to the PsrA/PhsA clade but that it did not define a distinct subgroup, based on the putative homologs that were subsequently identified from other known selenite-respiring bacteria (e.g., and ). The enzyme appeared to be specific for Se(IV), showing no activity with selenate, arsenate, or thiosulfate, with a of 145 ± 53 μM, a of 23 ± 2.5 μM min, and a of 23 ± 2.68 s These results further our understanding of the mechanisms of selenium biotransformation and its biogeochemical cycle. Selenium is an essential element for life, with Se(IV) reduction a key step in its biogeochemical cycle. This report identifies for the first time a dissimilatory Se(IV) reductase, Srr, from a known selenite-respiring bacterium, the haloalkalophilic strain MLS10. The work extends the versatility of the complex iron-sulfur molybdoenzyme (CISM) superfamily in electron transfer involving chalcogen substrates with different redox potentials. Further, it underscores the importance of biochemical and enzymological approaches in establishing the functionality of these enzymes.

Open Access