In vitro enzymatic reduction kinetics of mineral oxides by membrane fractions from Shewanella oneidensis MR-1

Shane S. Ruebush, Gary A. Icopini, Susan L. Brantley, Ming Tien

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32 Scopus citations


This study documents the first example of in vitro solid-phase mineral oxide reduction by enzyme-containing membrane fractions. Previous in vitro studies have only reported the reduction of aqueous ions. Total membrane (TM) fractions from iron-grown cultures of Shewanella oneidensis MR-1 were isolated and shown to catalyze the reduction of goethite, hematite, birnessite, and ramsdellite/pyrolusite using formate. In contrast, nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NADH) and succinate cannot function as electron donors. The significant implications of observations related to this cell-free system are: (i) both iron and manganese mineral oxides are reduced by the TM fraction, but aqueous U(VI) is not; (ii) TM fractions from anaerobically grown, but not aerobically grown, cells can reduce the mineral oxides; (iii) electron shuttles and iron chelators are not needed for this in vitro reduction, documenting conclusively that reduction can occur by direct contact with the mineral oxide; (iv) electron shuttles and EDTA stimulate the in vitro Fe(III) reduction, documenting that exogenous molecules can enhance rates of enzymatic mineral reduction; and (v) multiple membrane components are involved in solid-phase oxide reduction. The membrane fractions, consisting of liposomes of cytoplasmic and outer membrane segments, contain at least 100 proteins including the enzyme that oxidizes formate, formate dehydrogenase. Mineral oxide reduction was inhibited by the addition of detergent Triton X-100, which solubilizes membranes and their associated proteins, consistent with the involvement of multiple electron carriers that are disrupted by detergent addition. In contrast, formate dehydrogenase activity was not inhibited by Triton X-100. The addition of anthraquinone-2,6-disulfonate (AQDS) and menaquinone-4 was unable to restore activity; however, menadione (MD) restored 33% of the activity. The addition of AQDS and MD to reactions without added detergent increased the rate of goethite reduction. The Michaelis-Menten Km values of 71 ± 22 m2/L for hematite and 50 ± 16 m2/L for goethite were calculated as a function of surface area of the two insoluble minerals. Vmax was determined to be 123 Plusmn; 14 and 156 ± 13 nmol Fe(II)/min/ mg of TM protein for hematite and goethite, respectively. These values are consistent with in vivo rates of reduction reported in the literature. These observations are consistent with our conclusion that the enzymatic reduction of mineral oxides is an effective probe that will allow elucidation of molecular chemistry of the membrane-mineral interface where electron transfer occurs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)56-70
Number of pages15
JournalGeochimica et Cosmochimica Acta
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2006

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Geochemistry and Petrology


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