Previous studies failed to detect c-type cytochromes in Pelobacter species despite the fact that other close relatives in the Geobacteraceae, such as Geobacter and Desulfuromonas species, have abundant c-type cytochromes. Analysis of the recently completed genome sequence of Pelobacter carbinolicus revealed 14 open reading frames that could encode c-type cytochromes. Transcripts for all but one of these open reading frames were detected in acetoin-fermenting and/or Fe(III)-reducing cells. Three putative c-type cytochrome genes were expressed specifically during Fe(III) reduction, suggesting that the encoded proteins may participate in electron transfer to Fe(III). One of these proteins was a periplasmic triheme cytochrome with a high level of similarity to PpcA, which has a role in Fe(III) reduction in Geobacter sulfurreducens. Genes for heme biosynthesis and system II cytochrome c biogenesis were identified in the genome and shown to be expressed. Sodium dodecyl sulfate-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis gels of protein extracted from acetoin-fermenting P. carbinolicus cells contained three heme-staining bands which were confirmed by mass spectrometry to be among the 14 predicted c-type cytochromes. The number of cytochrome genes, the predicted amount of heme c per protein, and the ratio of heme-stained protein to total protein were much smaller in P. carbinolicus than in G. sulfurreducens. Furthermore, many of the c-type cytochromes that genetic studies have indicated are required for optimal Fe(III) reduction in G. sulfurreducens were not present in the P. carbinolicus genome. These results suggest that further evaluation of the functions of c-type cytochromes in the Geobacteraceae is warranted.
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/derek_lovley/119/