Disparate redox activities that take place beyond the bounds of the prokaryotic cell cytosol must connect to membrane or cytosolic electron pools. Proteins post-translationally flavinylated by the enzyme ApbE mediate electron transfer in several characterized extracytosolic redox systems but the breadth of functions of this modification remains unknown. Here we present a comprehensive bioinformatic analysis of 31,910 prokaryotic genomes that provides evidence of extracytosolic ApbEs within ~50% of bacteria and the involvement of flavinylation in numerous uncharacterized biochemical processes. By mining flavinylation-associated gene clusters, we identify five protein classes responsible for transmembrane electron transfer and two domains of unknown function (DUF2271 and DUF3570) that are flavinylated by ApbE. We observe flavinylation/iron transporter gene colocalization patterns that implicate functions in iron reduction and assimilation. We find associations with characterized and uncharacterized respiratory oxidoreductases that highlight roles of flavinylation in respiratory electron transport chains. Finally, we identify interspecies gene cluster variability consistent with flavinylation/cytochrome functional redundancies and discover a class of 'multi-flavinylated proteins' that may resemble multiheme cytochromes in facilitating longer distance electron transfer. These findings provide key mechanistic insight into an important facet of bacterial physiology and establish flavinylation as a functionally diverse mediator of extracytosolic electron transfer.
All data generated or analysed during this study are included in the manuscript and supporting files.
A standardized bacterial taxonomy based on genome phylogeny substantially revises the tree of life.https://doi.org/10.1038/nbt.4229.
- Samuel H Light
- Rafael Rivera-Lugo
- Raphaël Méheust
- Jillian F Banfield
- Raphaël Méheust
- Jillian F Banfield
The funders had no role in study design, data collection and interpretation, or the decision to submit the work for publication.
- Pimchai Chaiyen, Vidyasirimedhi Institute of Science and Technology (VISTEC), Thailand
© 2021, Méheust et al.
This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License permitting unrestricted use and redistribution provided that the original author and source are credited.
Listeria monocytogenes uses respiration to sustain a risky fermentative lifestyle during infection.
Age-dependent loss of body wall muscle function and impaired locomotion occur within 2 weeks in Caenorhabditis elegans (C. elegans); however, the underlying mechanism has not been fully elucidated. In humans, age-dependent loss of muscle function occurs at about 80 years of age and has been linked to dysfunction of ryanodine receptor (RyR)/intracellular calcium (Ca2+) release channels on the sarcoplasmic reticulum (SR). Mammalian skeletal muscle RyR1 channels undergo age-related remodeling due to oxidative overload, leading to loss of the stabilizing subunit calstabin1 (FKBP12) from the channel macromolecular complex. This destabilizes the closed state of the channel resulting in intracellular Ca2+ leak, reduced muscle function, and impaired exercise capacity. We now show that the C. elegans RyR homolog, UNC-68, exhibits a remarkable degree of evolutionary conservation with mammalian RyR channels and similar age-dependent dysfunction. Like RyR1 in mammals, UNC-68 encodes a protein that comprises a macromolecular complex which includes the calstabin1 homolog FKB-2 and is immunoreactive with antibodies raised against the RyR1 complex. Furthermore, as in aged mammals, UNC-68 is oxidized and depleted of FKB-2 in an age-dependent manner, resulting in ‘leaky’ channels, depleted SR Ca2+ stores, reduced body wall muscle Ca2+ transients, and age-dependent muscle weakness. FKB-2 (ok3007)-deficient worms exhibit reduced exercise capacity. Pharmacologically induced oxidization of UNC-68 and depletion of FKB-2 from the channel independently caused reduced body wall muscle Ca2+ transients. Preventing FKB-2 depletion from the UNC-68 macromolecular complex using the Rycal drug S107 improved muscle Ca2+ transients and function. Taken together, these data suggest that UNC-68 oxidation plays a role in age-dependent loss of muscle function. Remarkably, this age-dependent loss of muscle function induced by oxidative overload, which takes ~2 years in mice and ~80 years in humans, occurs in less than 2–3 weeks in C. elegans, suggesting that reduced antioxidant capacity may contribute to the differences in lifespan among species.