Geometrical Changes in the Hemes of Bacterial Surface c-type Cytochromes Reveal Flexibility in their Binding Affinity with Minerals
Yoshihide Tokunou, Akihiro Okamoto
Microbial extracellular electron transport occurs via the physical and electrical association of outer-membrane c-type cytochromes (OM c-Cyts) with extracellular solid surfaces. However, studies investigating the characteristics of cytochrome binding with solid materials have been limited to the use of purified units of OM c-Cyts dissolved in solution, rather than OM c-Cyts in intact cells, due to the lack of a methodology that specifically allows for the monitoring of OM c-Cyts in whole-cells. Here, we utilized circular dichroism (CD) spectroscopy to examine the molecular mechanisms and binding characteristics of the interaction between MtrC, a unit of OM c-Cyts, in whole Shewanella oneidensis MR-1 cells and hematite nanoparticles. The addition of hematite nanoparticles significantly decreased the intensity of the Soret CD peaks, indicating geometrical changes in the hemes in MtrC associated with their physical contact with hematite. The binding affinity of MtrC estimated using CD spectra changed predominantly depending upon the redox state of MtrC and the concentration of the hematite nanoparticles. In contrast, purified MtrC demonstrated a constant binding affinity following a Langmuir isotherm, with a standard Gibbs free energy of −43 kJmol-1, suggesting that the flexibility in the binding affinity of MtrC with hematite was specific in membrane-bound protein complex conditions. Overall, these findings suggest that the binding affinity as well as the heme geometry of OM c-Cyts are flexibly modulated in membrane complex associated with microbe-mineral interactions.
Circular dichroism, Soret band, Protein structure, Chemical stability, Ligand binding, Nanostructures, Biochemistry, Materials