The chemical structure and electron transport mechanism of periplasmic bacterial wires
Check out our pre-print:
We combined high-resolution microscopy, spectroscopy, and chemical imaging on individual cable bacterium filaments and demonstrate that the periplasmic wires consist of a conductive protein core surrounded by an insulating shell layer.
The core proteins contain a sulfur-ligated nickel cofactor, and conductivity decreases when nickel is oxidized or selectively removed.
The involvement of nickel as the active metal in biological conduction suggests a hitherto unknown form of electron transport that enables efficient conduction in centimeter-long protein structures.
Thanks lots to Eric for compiling all our data and leading the efforts. Is has been a highly inspirational journey.