Chapter 14 : Periplasmic Nitrate Reduction

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Before 1980, just two types of bacterial nitrate reductase were widely recognized: these were the soluble, cytoplasmic nitrate reductases involved in nitrate assimilation and the membrane-associated respiratory nitrate reductases. It rapidly became apparent that, in contrast to the more conserved components of the membrane-associated respiratory nitrate reductase encoded by the narGHJI operons, there were at least five levels of diversity among the periplasmic nitrate reductases: their distribution among bacteria of different physiological types; their regulation; their physiological roles; their components; and their genetic context. This chapter reviews each of these aspects followed by a summary of recent developments, including the realization by Richardson and his colleagues that there is a fourth type of nitrate reductase, a membrane-associated group with catalytic sites located in the periplasm, which might explain how the diversity of the Nap enzymes has evolved. Twelve different types of polypeptide are encoded by the various nap clusters, but only two of them, and , have so far always been found together. Further support for the ideas of Richardson and Jepson comes from the nap gene cluster in , which includes a gene encoding a small tetraheme c-type cytochrome homologous to NapM. Given that the sulfate:sulfite redox couple is strongly electronegative compared with the nitrate:nitrite couple, it would be fascinating to determine whether nitrate reduction by is repressed by sulfate.

Citation: Cole J. 2007. Periplasmic Nitrate Reduction, p 247-259. In Ehrmann M (ed), The Periplasm. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555815806.ch14

Key Concept Ranking

Integral Membrane Proteins
Nitrate Reduction
Nitrate Reductase
Lower Gastrointestinal Tract
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Electron transfer to NapA in different bacteria.

Citation: Cole J. 2007. Periplasmic Nitrate Reduction, p 247-259. In Ehrmann M (ed), The Periplasm. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555815806.ch14
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Image of FIGURE 2

Evolution of cytochrome -linked periplasmic nitrate reductases.

Citation: Cole J. 2007. Periplasmic Nitrate Reduction, p 247-259. In Ehrmann M (ed), The Periplasm. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555815806.ch14
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Generic image for table

Various physiological roles of Nap in different bacteria

Citation: Cole J. 2007. Periplasmic Nitrate Reduction, p 247-259. In Ehrmann M (ed), The Periplasm. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555815806.ch14
Generic image for table

Why an strain expressing a periplasmic nitrate reductase outcompetes a strain expressing only nitrate reductase A during nitrate-limited anaerobic growth

Citation: Cole J. 2007. Periplasmic Nitrate Reduction, p 247-259. In Ehrmann M (ed), The Periplasm. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555815806.ch14
Generic image for table

Polypeptides encoded by gene clusters in various bacteria

Citation: Cole J. 2007. Periplasmic Nitrate Reduction, p 247-259. In Ehrmann M (ed), The Periplasm. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555815806.ch14
Generic image for table

Variety of combinations of genes in the clusters of different strains

Citation: Cole J. 2007. Periplasmic Nitrate Reduction, p 247-259. In Ehrmann M (ed), The Periplasm. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555815806.ch14

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