Enterococcus faecalis sufCDSUB complements Escherichia coli  sufABCDSE


  • Editor: Klaus Hantke

Correspondence: Jeverson Frazzon, Food Science Institute (ICTA), UFRGS, Av. Bento Gonçalves 9500, Building 43212, room 205, Porto Alegre, RS 91501-970, Brazil. Tel.: +55 51 3308 7115; fax: +55 51 3308 7048; e-mail: jeverson.frazzon@ufrgs.br


Iron–sulfur [Fe–S] clusters are inorganic prosthetic groups that play essential roles in all living organisms. Iron and sulfur mobilization, formation of [Fe–S] clusters, and delivery to its final protein targets involves a complex set of specific protein machinery. Proteobacteria has three systems of [Fe–S] biogenesis, designated NIF, ISC, and SUF. In contrast, the Firmicutes system is not well characterized and has only one system, formed mostly by SUF homologs. The Firmicutes phylum corresponds to a group of pathological bacteria, of which Enterococcus faecalis is a clinically relevant representative. Recently, the E. faecalis sufCDSUB [Fe–S] cluster biosynthetic machinery has been identified, although there is no further information available about the similarities and/or variations of Proteobacteria and Firmicutes systems. The aim of the present work was to compare the ability of the different Proteobacteria and Firmicutes systems to complement the Azotobacter vinelandii and Escherichia coli ISC and SUF systems. Indeed, E. faecalis sufCDSUB is able to complement the E. coli SUF system, allowing viable mutants of both sufABCDSE and iscRSU-hscBA-fdx systems. The presence of all E. faecalis SUF factors enables proper functional interactions, which would not otherwise occur in proteins from different systems.