Peroxiredoxins are ubiquitous proteins that catalyze the reduction of hydroperoxides, thus conferring resistance to oxidative stress. Using high-resolution mass spectrometry, we recently reclassified one such peroxiredoxin, bacterioferritin comigratory protein (BCP) of Escherichia coli, as an atypical 2-Cys peroxiredoxin that functions through the formation of an intramolecular disulfide bond between the active and resolving cysteine. An engineered E. coli BCP, which lacked the resolving cysteine, retained enzyme activity through a novel catalytic pathway. Unlike the active cysteine, the resolving cysteine of BCP peroxiredoxins is not conserved across all members of the family. To clarify the catalytic mechanism of native BCP enzymes that lack the resolving cysteine, we have investigated the BCP homologue of Burkholderia cenocepacia. We demonstrate that the B. cenocepacia BCP (BcBCP) homologue functions through a 1-Cys catalytic pathway. During catalysis, BcBCP can utilize thioredoxin as a reductant for the sulfenic acid intermediate. However, significantly higher peroxidase activity is observed utilizing glutathione as a resolving cysteine and glutaredoxin as a redox partner. Introduction of a resolving cysteine into BcBCP changes the activity from a 1-Cys pathway to an atypical 2-Cys pathway, analogous to the E. coli enzyme. In contrast to the native B. cenocepacia enzyme, thioredoxin is the preferred redox partner for this atypical 2-Cys variant. BCP-deficient B. cenocepacia exhibit a growth-phase-dependent hypersensitivity to oxidative killing. On the basis of sequence alignments, we believe that BcBCP described herein is representative of the major class of bacterial BCP peroxiredoxins. To our knowledge, this is the first detailed characterization of their catalytic activity. These studies support the subdivision of the BCP family of peroxiredoxins into two classes based on their catalytic activity.
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