Article: Journal of Biological Chemistry

Function and maturation of the Fe–S center in dihydroxyacid dehydratase from Arabidopsis H Gao, T Azam, S Randeniya, J Couturier, N Rouhier, MK Johnson. Journal of Biological Chemistry, jbc. RA117. 001592


Dihydroxyacid dehydratase (DHAD) is the third enzyme required for branched-chain amino acid biosynthesis in bacteria, fungi, and plants. DHAD enzymes contain two distinct types of active-site Fe–S clusters. The best characterized examples are Escherichia coli DHAD, which contains an oxygen-labile [Fe4S4] cluster, and spinach DHAD, which contains an oxygen-resistant [Fe2S2] cluster. Although the Fe–S cluster is crucial for DHAD function, little is known about the cluster-coordination environment or the mechanism of catalysis and cluster biogenesis. Here, using the combination of UV-visible absorption and circular dichroism, resonance Raman and electron paramagnetic resonance, we spectroscopically characterized the Fe–S center in DHAD from Arabidopsis thaliana (At). Our results indicated that AtDHAD can accommodate [Fe2S2] and [Fe4S4] clusters. However, only the [Fe2S2] cluster–bound form is catalytically active. We found that the [Fe2S2] cluster is coordinated by at least one non-cysteinyl ligand, which can be replaced by the thiol group(s) of dithiothreitol.In vitro cluster transfer and reconstitution reactions revealed that [Fe2S2] cluster–containing NFU2 protein is likely the physiological cluster donor for in vivo maturation of AtDHAD. In summary, AtDHAD binds either one [Fe4S4] or one [Fe2S2] cluster, with only the latter being catalytically competent and capable of substrate and product binding, and NFU2 appears to be the physiological [Fe2S2] cluster donor for DHAD maturation. This work represents the first in vitro characterization of recombinant AtDHAD, providing new insights into the properties, biogenesis, and catalytic role of the active-site Fe–S center in a plant DHAD.