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Metalloproteins in the Biology of Heterocysts

Institute for Molecular Biosciences, Goethe University Frankfurt, Max-von-Laue-Straβe 9, 60438 Frankfurt am Main, Germany
Frankfurt Institute for Advanced Studies, Ruth-Moufang-Straße 1, 60438 Frankfurt am Main, Germany
Buchmann Institute for Molecular Life Sciences, Goethe University Frankfurt, Max-von-Laue-Straβe 15, 60438 Frankfurt am Main, Germany
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 30 January 2019 / Revised: 18 March 2019 / Accepted: 28 March 2019 / Published: 3 April 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Developmental Biology in Cyanobacteria)
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Cyanobacteria are photoautotrophic microorganisms present in almost all ecologically niches on Earth. They exist as single-cell or filamentous forms and the latter often contain specialized cells for N2 fixation known as heterocysts. Heterocysts arise from photosynthetic active vegetative cells by multiple morphological and physiological rearrangements including the absence of O2 evolution and CO2 fixation. The key function of this cell type is carried out by the metalloprotein complex known as nitrogenase. Additionally, many other important processes in heterocysts also depend on metalloproteins. This leads to a high metal demand exceeding the one of other bacteria in content and concentration during heterocyst development and in mature heterocysts. This review provides an overview on the current knowledge of the transition metals and metalloproteins required by heterocysts in heterocyst-forming cyanobacteria. It discusses the molecular, physiological, and physicochemical properties of metalloproteins involved in N2 fixation, H2 metabolism, electron transport chains, oxidative stress management, storage, energy metabolism, and metabolic networks in the diazotrophic filament. This provides a detailed and comprehensive picture on the heterocyst demands for Fe, Cu, Mo, Ni, Mn, V, and Zn as cofactors for metalloproteins and highlights the importance of such metalloproteins for the biology of cyanobacterial heterocysts.
Keywords: cyanobacteria; Nostocales; heterocysts; metalloproteins; metalloenzymes; metals; electron transport chains; oxidative stress; bioenergetics; metabolism cyanobacteria; Nostocales; heterocysts; metalloproteins; metalloenzymes; metals; electron transport chains; oxidative stress; bioenergetics; metabolism
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

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Pernil, R.; Schleiff, E. Metalloproteins in the Biology of Heterocysts. Life 2019, 9, 32.

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