Cryo-electron structures of the extreme thermostable enzymes Sulfur Oxygenase Reductase and Lumazine Synthase

Mohamed A. Sobhy*, Lingyun Zhao, Dalaver Anjum, Ali Behzad, Masateru Takahashi, Muhammad Tehseen, Alfredo De Biasio, Rachid Sougrat*, Samir Hamdan

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Thermostable enzymes have the potential for use in a wide variety of biotechnological applications. Cryo-electron microscopy (cryo-EM) enables the imaging of biomolecules in their native aqueous environment. Here, we present high resolution cryo-EM structures of two thermostable enzymes that exhibit multimeric cage-like structures arranged into two different point-group symmetries. First, we determined the structure of the Sulfur Oxygenase Reductase (SOR) enzyme that catalyzes both the oxygenation and disproportionation of elemental sulfur in Archea and is composed of 24 homomeric units each of MW’ 35 kDa arranged in octahedral symmetry. The structure of SOR from Acidianus ambivalens (7X9W) was determined at 2.78 Å resolution. The active site of each subunit inside the central nanocompartment is composed of Fe3+ coordinated to two water molecules and the three amino acids (H86, H90 and E114). Second, we determined the structure of Lumazine Synthase (LS) from Aquifex aeolicus (7X7M) at 2.33 Å resolution. LS forms a cage-like structure consisting of 60 identical subunits each of MW’ 15 kDa arranged in a strict icosahedral symmetry. The LS subunits are interconnected by ion-pair network. Due to their thermostability and relatively easy purification scheme, both SOR and LS can serve as a model for the catalytic and structural characterization of biocatalysts as well as a benchmark for cryo-EM sample preparation, optimization of the acquisition parameters and 3D reconstruction.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere0275487
JournalPloS one
Issue number10 October
StatePublished - Oct 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by King Abdullah University of Science and Technology through core funding and Competitive Research Award (CRG3) to S.M.H. The funders had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript. We are grateful for the IBEX cluster team especially Nagarajan Kathiresan and Saber Fakih for their help.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 Sobhy et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


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