Like most bacteria, Escherichia coli has a flexible and branched respiratory chain that enables the prokaryote to live under a variety of environmental conditions, from highly aerobic to completely anaerobic. In general, the bacterial respiratory chain is composed of dehydrogenases, a quinone pool, and reductases. Substrate-specific dehydrogenases transfer reducing equivalents from various donor substrates (NADH, succinate, glycerophosphate, formate, hydrogen, pyruvate, and lactate) to a quinone pool (menaquinone, ubiquinone, and dimethylmenoquinone). Then electrons from reduced quinones (quinols) are transferred by terminal reductases to different electron acceptors. Under aerobic growth conditions, the terminal electron acceptor is molecular oxygen. A transfer of electrons from quinol to O2 is served by two major oxidoreductases (oxidases), cytochrome bo 3 encoded by cyoABCDE and cytochrome bd encoded by cydABX. Terminal oxidases of aerobic respiratory chains of bacteria, which use O2 as the final electron acceptor, can oxidize one of two alternative electron donors, either cytochrome c or quinol. This review compares the effects of different inhibitors on the respiratory activities of cytochrome bo 3 and cytochrome bd in E. coli. It also presents a discussion on the genetics and the prosthetic groups of cytochrome bo 3 and cytochrome bd. The E. coli membrane contains three types of quinones that all have an octaprenyl side chain (C40). It has been proposed that the bo 3 oxidase can have two ubiquinone-binding sites with different affinities.
“What’s new” in the revised article: The revised article comprises additional information about subunit composition of cytochrome bd and its role in bacterial resistance to nitrosative and oxidative stresses. Also, we present the novel data on the electrogenic function of appBCX-encoded cytochrome bd-II, a second bd-type oxidase that had been thought not to contribute to generation of a proton motive force in E. coli, although its spectral properties closely resemble those of cydABX-encoded cytochrome bd.
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