Electron bifurcation and confurcation in methanogenesis and reverse methanogenesis

Zhen Yan, James G. Ferry

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

10 Scopus citations

Abstract

Reduction of the disulfide of coenzyme M and coenzyme B (CoMS-SCoB) by heterodisulfide reductases (HdrED and HdrABC) is the final step in all methanogenic pathways. Flavin-based electron bifurcation (FBEB) by soluble HdrABC homologs play additional roles in driving essential endergonic reactions at the expense of the exergonic reduction of CoMS-SCoM. In the first step of the CO2 reduction pathway, HdrABC complexed with hydrogenase or formate dehydrogenase generates reduced ferredoxin (Fdx2-) for the endergonic reduction of CO2 coupled to the exergonic reduction of CoMS-SCoB dependent on FBEB of electrons from H2 or formate. Roles for HdrABC:hydrogenase complexes are also proposed for pathways wherein the methyl group of methanol is reduced to methane with electrons from H2. The HdrABC complexes catalyze FBEB-dependent oxidation of H2 for the endergonic reduction of Fdx driven by the exergonic reduction of CoMS-SCoB. The Fdx2- supplies electrons for reduction of the methyl group to methane. In H2 - independent pathways, three-fourths of the methyl groups are oxidized producing Fdx2- and reduced coenzyme F420 (F420H2). The F420H2 donates electrons for reduction of the remaining methyl groups to methane requiring transfer of electrons from Fdx2- to F420. HdrA1B1C1 is proposed to catalyze FBEB-dependent oxidation of Fdx2- for the endergonic reduction of F420 driven by the exergonic reduction of CoMS-SCoB. In H2 - independent acetotrophic pathways, the methyl group of acetate is reduced to methane with electrons derived from oxidation of the carbonyl group mediated by Fdx. Electron transport involves a membrane-bound complex (Rnf) that oxidizes Fdx2- and generates a Na+ gradient driving ATP synthesis. It is postulated that F420 is reduced by Rnf requiring HdrA2B2C2 catalyzing FBEB-dependent oxidation of F420H2 for the endergonic reduction of Fdx driven by the exergonic reduction of CoMS-SCoB. The Fdx2- is recycled by Rnf and HdrA2B2C2 thereby conserving energy. The HdrA2B2C2 is also proposed to play a role in Fe(III)-dependent reverse methanogenesis. A flavin-based electron confurcating (FBEC) HdrABC complex is proposed for nitrate-dependent reverse methanogenesis in which the oxidation of CoM-SH/CoB-SH and Fdx2- is coupled to reduction of F420. The F420H2 donates electrons to a membrane complex that generates a proton gradient driving ATP synthesis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number1322
JournalFrontiers in Microbiology
Volume9
Issue numberJUN
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 20 2018

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Microbiology
  • Microbiology (medical)

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