Journal of Bioenergetics and Biomembranes

, Volume 36, Issue 1, pp 77–91

Dissimilatory Oxidation and Reduction of Elemental Sulfur in Thermophilic Archaea

Authors

  • Arnulf Kletzin
    • Institute of Microbiology and GeneticsDarmstadt University of Technology
  • Tim Urich
    • Institute of Microbiology and GeneticsDarmstadt University of Technology
  • Fabian Müller
    • Institute of Microbiology and GeneticsDarmstadt University of Technology
  • Tiago M. Bandeiras
    • Instituto de Tecnologia Química e Biológica, Universidade Nova de Lisboa
  • Cláudio M. Gomes
    • Instituto de Tecnologia Química e Biológica, Universidade Nova de Lisboa
    • Departamento de Química, Faculdade de Ciências e TecnologiaUniversidade Nova de Lisboa
Article

DOI: 10.1023/B:JOBB.0000019600.36757.8c

Cite this article as:
Kletzin, A., Urich, T., Müller, F. et al. J Bioenerg Biomembr (2004) 36: 77. doi:10.1023/B:JOBB.0000019600.36757.8c

Abstract

The oxidation and reduction of elemental sulfur and reduced inorganic sulfur species are some of the most important energy-yielding reactions for microorganisms living in volcanic hot springs, solfataras, and submarine hydrothermal vents, including both heterotrophic, mixotrophic, and chemolithoautotrophic, carbon dioxide-fixing species. Elemental sulfur is the electron donor in aerobic archaea like Acidianus and Sulfolobus. It is oxidized via sulfite and thiosulfate in a pathway involving both soluble and membrane-bound enzymes. This pathway was recently found to be coupled to the aerobic respiratory chain, eliciting a link between sulfur oxidation and oxygen reduction at the level of the respiratory heme copper oxidase. In contrast, elemental sulfur is the electron acceptor in a short electron transport chain consisting of a membrane-bound hydrogenase and a sulfur reductase in (facultatively) anaerobic chemolithotrophic archaea Acidianus and Pyrodictium species. It is also the electron acceptor in organoheterotrophic anaerobic species like Pyrococcus and Thermococcus, however, an electron transport chain has not been described as yet. The current knowledge on the composition and properties of the aerobic and anaerobic pathways of dissimilatory elemental sulfur metabolism in thermophilic archaea is summarized in this contribution.

Sulfur oxygenase reductasethiosulfate:quinone oxidoreductasesulfite:acceptor oxidoreductaseheme copper oxidasesulfur reductasehydrogenaseRieske ferredoxinAcidianusPyrodictiumPyrococcus

Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 2004