Synechocystis DrgA protein functioning as nitroreductase and ferric reductase is capable of catalyzing the Fenton reaction

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In order to identify an enzyme capable of Fenton reaction in Synechocystis, we purified an enzyme catalyzing one-electron reduction of t-butyl hydroperoxide in the presence of FAD and Fe(III)-EDTA. The enzyme was a 26 kDa protein, and its N-terminal amino acid sequencing revealed it to be DrgA protein previously reported as quinone reductase [Matsuo M, Endo T and Asada K (1998) Plant Cell Physiol39, 751–755]. The DrgA protein exhibited potent quinone reductase activity and, furthermore, we newly found that it contained FMN and highly catalyzed nitroreductase, flavin reductase and ferric reductase activities. This is the first demonstration of nitroreductase activity of DrgA protein previously identified by a drgA mutant phenotype. DrgA protein strongly catalyzed the Fenton reaction in the presence of synthetic chelate compounds, but did so poorly in the presence of natural chelate compounds. Its ferric reductase activity was observed with both natural and synthetic chelate compounds with a better efficiency with the latter. In addition to small molecular-weight chemical chelators, an iron transporter protein, transferrin, and an iron storage protein, ferritin, turned out to be substrates of the DrgA protein, suggesting it might play a role in iron metabolism under physiological conditions and possibly catalyze the Fenton reaction under hyper-reductive conditions in this microorganism.

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