, Volume 163, Issue 6, pp 391-399

Isolation and characterization of sulfur globule proteins from Chromatium vinosum and Thiocapsa roseopersicina

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Purple sulfur bacteria store sulfur as intracellular globules enclosed by a protein envelope. The proteins associated with sulfur globules of Chromatium vinosum and Thiocapsa roseopersicina were isolated by extraction into 50% aqueous acetonitrile containing 1% trifluoroacetic acid and 10 mM dithiothreitol. The extracted proteins were separated by reversed-phase HPLC, revealing three major proteins from C. vinosum and two from T. roseopersicina. All of these proteins have similar, rather unusual amino acid compositions, being rich in glycine and aromatic amino acids, particularly tyrosine. The molecular masses of the C. vinosum proteins were determined to be 10,498, 10,651, and 8,479 Da, while those from T. roseopersicina were found to be 10,661 and 8,759 Da by laser desorption time-of-flight mass spectrometry. The larger T. roseopersicina protein is N-terminally blocked, probably by acetylation, but small amounts of the unblocked form (mass = 10,619) were also isolated by HPLC. Protein sequencing showed that the two larger C. vinosum proteins are homologous to each other and to the large T. roseopersicina protein. The 8,479 Da C. vinosum and 8,759 Da T. roseopersicina proteins are also homologous, indicating that sulfur globule proteins are conserved between different species of purple sulfur bacteria.