To analyze the activity and specificity of the different OM cytochromes, we compared electron transfer to metals
and an anode surface. The reduction of an anode is as surface limited as the Verteporfin purchase reduction of an insoluble metal. However, anode reduction experiments can provide an additional set of information due to the possibility to change the rate of electron abstraction from the anode surface and thus the potential. The reduction experiments conducted showed that MtrCstrep and MtrFstrep could partly rescue the ΔOMC phenotype, while the production of other OM cytochromes resulted only in minor effects, if at all. A central role of MtrC in metal reduction is in agreement with earlier results (Beliaev et al., 2001; Myers & Myers, 2001) and might reflect the recently discovered capability of a complex of MtrC, with the β-barrel protein MtrB and the decaheme cytochrome MtrA, to
transport electrons over a liposome membrane and hence most probably also over the OM of S. oneidensis cells (Hartshorne et al., 2009). mtrF is part of a gene cluster that includes with mtrD and mtrE genes that are highly Fluorouracil cost similar to mtrA and mtrB (McLean et al., 2008). We could show that MtrFstrep is a functional reductase that has, under several conditions, an even accelerated activity compared with MtrCstrep. McLean et al. (2008) speculate that the mtrDEF gene cluster could encode a reductase that is active under oxic or suboxic conditions and might have a function in Selleckchem Palbociclib reduction-based detoxification of radionuclides. The experiments presented here underline at least that MtrF is a reductase that could have this hypothetical function. The relative reduction activities of MtrFstrep compared with MtrCstrep follow the same pattern for all electron acceptors, except for an electrode in an MFC. Here, the LCD of MtrFstrep-producing cells is only 46% compared with the LCD achieved with MtrCstrep-producing cells. Therefore, we hypothesize that MtrFstrep might be not as well connected to the periplasmic electron pool, which could be due to
a reduced capability of forming a complex with MtrA and MtrB. This interprotein electron transfer might not be rate limiting under mineral-reducing conditions, but could become important when a certain current is applied to the MFC. OmcA production did not lead to accelerated reduction rates compared with the ΔOMC mutant in ferric iron reduction assays. This effect does not seem to be due to the reported partial mislocalization of OmcA in a ΔmtrC mutant (Myers & Myers, 2001) since proteinase K assays clearly demonstrated the surface exposure of OmcA in the ΔOMC mutant. OmcA is part of the core proteins that can be found in ferric iron-reducing S. oneidensis cells (Shi et al., 2007). We hypothesize that OmcA is an in vivo ferric iron reductase that is dependent on electron transport by another OM cytochrome. This cytochrome would most probably be MtrC.