Binding of sulfurated molybdenum cofactor to the C-terminal domain of ABA3 from Arabidopsis thaliana provides insight into the mechanism of molybdenum cofactor sulfuration

The Journal of Biological Chemistry
Silke WollersFlorian Bittner


The molybdenum cofactor sulfurase ABA3 from Arabidopsis thaliana is needed for post-translational activation of aldehyde oxidase and xanthine dehydrogenase by transferring a sulfur atom to the desulfo-molybdenum cofactor of these enzymes. ABA3 is a two-domain protein consisting of an NH(2)-terminal NifS-like cysteine desulfurase domain and a C-terminal domain of yet undescribed function. The NH(2)-terminal domain of ABA3 decomposes l-cysteine to yield elemental sulfur, which subsequently is bound as persulfide to a conserved protein cysteinyl residue within this domain. In vivo, activation of aldehyde oxidase and xanthine dehydrogenase also depends on the function of the C-terminal domain, as can be concluded from the A. thaliana aba3/sir3-3 mutant. sir3-3 plants are strongly reduced in aldehyde oxidase and xanthine dehydrogenase activities due to a substitution of arginine 723 by a lysine within the C-terminal domain of the ABA3 protein. Here we present first evidence for the function of the C-terminal domain and show that molybdenum cofactor is bound to this domain with high affinity. Furthermore, cyanide-treated ABA3 C terminus was shown to release thiocyanate, indicating that the molybdenum cofactor bound to the C-terminal ...Continue Reading


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