The maturation of Hydrogenobacter thermophilus cytochrome c552 in the cytoplasm of Escherichia coli is unique among bacterial c-type cytochromes. It is now shown to be matured in a strain lacking the whole set of ccm (cytochrome c maturation) genes that are normally required for c-type cytochrome biogenesis in E. coli. As this cytochrome is thermostable we propose that the apocytochrome c552 has sufficient tertiary structure to allow the haem to slot into its binding pocket, which in turn triggers the spontaneous covalent attachment between apocytochrome c552 and haem. The ccm deletion strain of E. coli, derived from a strain that synthesizes elevated levels of endogenous c-type cytochromes, also produces larger amounts of cytoplasmic H. thermophilus cytochrome c552 than a reference strain. This implies that elevated production of c-type cytochromes is not a consequence of high activity of ccm genes but rather an enhanced ability to supply haem, a view that is supported by the increase in thermophilic cytochrome c552 biogenesis that occurs in a reference strain following supplementation of growth media with δ-aminolevulinic acid.
Sinha, N., & Ferguson, S. J. (1998). An Escherichia coli ccm (cytochrome c maturation) deletion strain substantially expresses Hydrogenobacter thermophilus cytochrome c552 in the cytoplasm: Availability of haem influences cytochrome c552 maturation. FEMS Microbiology Letters, 161(1), 1–6. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0378-1097(98)00037-8