1887

Abstract

Sequencing of the region flanking , the gene encoding the copper-containing nitrite reductase in 2.4.3, has identified two genes whose products could potentially be involved in nitrite reductase expression and activity. One of the genes has been designated . Putative orthologues are found in other denitrifiers, where they are also located downstream of the structural gene for nitrite reductase. The in 2.4.3 is apparently cotranscribed with . Inactivation of had no effect on cell growth, or on nitrite reductase expression or activity. Downstream of and divergently transcribed is a gene, designated , encoding a protein with significant similarity to pseudoazurins from other denitrifiers. However, three of the four residues required for binding of the type I copper centre are not conserved in the deduced sequence of the protein in 2.4.3. is expressed only when oxygen becomes limiting. expression is dependent on both FnrL and NnrR, and a putative binding site for these proteins has been identified. Expression of is also dependent on the two-component PrrB/PrrA system. Inactivation of had no significant effect on cell growth or on nitrite reductase expression or activity. Expression of a maltose-binding protein–PpaZ fusion indicated that the protein could not bind copper. Examination of the genome of the related bacterium 2.4.1 revealed that it encodes but not and evidence is presented suggesting that a common ancestor of 2.4.3 and 2.4.1 had both nitrite and nitric oxide reductase activity but as the strains diverged 2.4.1 lost and , making it incapable of nitrite reduction.

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2001-09-01
2019-10-24
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