Link to Pubmed [PMID] – 20332091
J. Biol. Chem. 2010 May;285(21):16032-41
Heme is a redox-reactive molecule with vital and complex roles in bacterial metabolism, survival, and virulence. However, few intracellular heme partners were identified to date and are not well conserved in bacteria. The opportunistic pathogen Streptococcus agalactiae (group B Streptococcus) is a heme auxotroph, which acquires exogenous heme to activate an aerobic respiratory chain. We identified the alkyl hydroperoxide reductase AhpC, a member of the highly conserved thiol-dependent 2-Cys peroxiredoxins, as a heme-binding protein. AhpC binds hemin with a K(d) of 0.5 microm and a 1:1 stoichiometry. Mutagenesis of cysteines revealed that hemin binding is dissociable from catalytic activity and multimerization. AhpC reductase activity was unchanged upon interaction with heme in vitro and in vivo. A group B Streptococcus ahpC mutant displayed attenuation of two heme-dependent functions, respiration and activity of a heterologous catalase, suggesting a role for AhpC in heme intracellular fate. In support of this hypothesis, AhpC-bound hemin was protected from chemical degradation in vitro. Our results reveal for the first time a role for AhpC as a heme-binding protein.