Biochemistry, Department of


Date of this Version

January 1994


Published in Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA Vol. 91, pp. 232-236, January 1994 Biochemistry. Permission to use.


Nicotinic acid hydroxylase from Clostidum barkeri contains selenium in an unidentified form that is dissociated as a low molecular weight compound upon denaturation of the enzyme. Other cofactors of this enzyme are molybdopterin, FAD, and iron-sulfur clusters. In the current study, we show that the enzyme, as isolated, exhibits a stable Mo(V) electron paramagnetic resonance (EPR) sal ("resting" signal) and that this signal is correlated with the selenium content and nicotinate hydroxylase activity of the enzyme. Substitution of77Se for normal selenium isotope abundance results in splitting of the Mo(V) EPR signal of the native protein without affecting the iron signals of the FeS clusters. The Mo(V) EPR signal and nicotinic add hydroxylase activity of enzyme isolated from cells grown in selenium-deficient medium are barely detectable. In contrast, the EPR signals of the FeS clusters, the electronic absorption spectrum, the NADPH oxidase activity, and the chromatographic behavior are changed little and are typical of active selenium-containing enzyme. An EPR signal indicative of the presence of molybdenum in the selenium-deficient enzyme also is exhibited. From these results, we conclude that a dissociable selenium moiety is coordinated directly with molybdenum in the molybdopterin cofactor and, moreover, this selenium is essential for nicotinic add hydroxylase activity.