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Biosynthesis of metal clusters for the nitrogenase component proteins NifH and NifDK involves electron donation events. Yet, electron donors specific to the biosynthetic pathways of the [4Fe-4S] cluster of NifH, or the P-cluster and the FeMo-co of NifDK, have not been identified. Here we show that an Azotobacter vinelandii mutant lacking fdxN was specifically impaired in FeMo-co biosynthesis. The ΔfdxN mutant produced 5-fold less NifB-co, an early FeMo-co biosynthetic intermediate, than wild type. As a consequence, it accumulated FeMo-co-deficient apo-NifDK and was impaired in NifDK activity. We conclude that FdxN plays a role in FeMo-co biosynthesis, presumably by donating electrons to support NifB-co synthesis by NifB. This is the first role in nitrogenase biosynthesis unequivocally assigned to any A. vinelandii ferredoxin. Copyright © 2013 Federation of European Biochemical Societies. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.


Emilio Jiménez-Vicente, Mónica Navarro-Rodríguez, César Poza-Carrión, Luis M Rubio. Role of Azotobacter vinelandii FdxN in FeMo-co biosynthesis. FEBS letters. 2014 Jan 31;588(3):512-6

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PMID: 24374338

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