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Parallel pathways for nitrite reduction during anaerobic growth in Thermus thermophilus

AuthorsÁlvarez, Laura ; Bricio, Carlos; Hidalgo, Aurelio ; Berenguer, José
Issue Date14-Jan-2014
PublisherAmerican Society for Microbiology
CitationJournal of Bacteriology 196: 1350- 1358 (2014)
AbstractRespiratory reduction of nitrate and nitrite is encoded in Thermus thermophilus by the respective transferable gene clusters. Nitrate is reduced by a heterotetrameric nitrate reductase (Nar) encoded along transporters and regulatory signal transduction systems within the nitrate respiration conjugative element (NCE). The nitrite respiration cluster (nic) encodes homologues of nitrite reductase (Nir) and nitric oxide reductase (Nor). The expression and role of the nirSJM genes in nitrite respiration were analyzed. The three genes are expressed from two promoters, one (nirSp) producing a tricistronic mRNA under aerobic and anaerobic conditions and the other (nirJp) producing a bicistronic mRNA only under conditions of anoxia plus a nitrogen oxide. As for its nitrite reductase homologues, NirS is expressed in the periplasm, has a covalently bound heme c, and conserves the heme d1 binding pocket. NirJ is a cytoplasmic protein likely required for heme d1 synthesis and NirS maturation. NirM is a soluble periplasmic homologue of cytochrome c552. Mutants defective in nirS show normal anaerobic growth with nitrite and nitrate, supporting the existence of an alternative Nir in the cells. Gene knockout analysis of different candidate genes did not allow us to identify this alternative Nir protein but revealed the requirement for Nar in NirS-dependent and NirS-independent nitrite reduction. As the likely role for Nar in the process is in electron transport through its additional cytochrome c periplasmic subunit (NarC), we concluded all the Nir activity takes place in the periplasm by parallel pathways. © 2014, American Society for Microbiology.
Identifiersdoi: 10.1128/JB.01042-13
issn: 1098-5530
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