Organisms employ one of several different enzyme systems to mature cytochromes c. The biosynthetic process involves the periplasmic reduction of cysteine residues in the heme c attachment motif of the apocytochrome, transmembrane transport of heme b and stereospecific covalent heme attachment via thioether bonds. The biogenesis System II (or Ccs system) is employed by β-, δ- and ε-proteobacteria, Gram-positive bacteria, Aquificales and cyanobacteria, as well as by algal and plant chloroplasts. System II comprises four (sometimes only three) membrane-bound proteins: CcsA (or ResC) and CcsB (ResB) are the components of the cytochrome c synthase, whereas CcdA and CcsX (ResA) function in the generation of a reduced heme c attachment motif. Some ε-proteobacteria contain CcsBA fusion proteins constituting single polypeptide cytochrome c synthases especially amenable for functional studies. This minireview highlights the recent findings on the structure, function and specificity of individual System II components and outlines the future challenges that remain to our understanding of the fascinating post-translational protein maturation process in more detail.
- Biokemi och molekylärbiologi