Unresolved sources, sinks, and pathways for the recovery of enteric bacteria from nitrosative stress.

Claire Vine, Jeffrey Cole

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

39 Citations (Scopus)


Major questions concerning the sources and mechanisms of the reduction of nitric oxide by enteric bacteria remain unresolved. The membrane-associated nitrate reductase is the major source of NO generated from nitrite, but at least one other source remains to be identified. Nitrite reductases are primarily detoxification systems that decrease rather than increase the accumulation of NO in the cytoplasm. Whether they also catalyze NO formation is unresolved. The FNR protein that regulates transitions between aerobic and anaerobic growth is inactivated as a consequence of nitrosative damage, but we challenge the idea that FNR is a physiologically relevant sensor of NO, except under the most severe nitrosative stress. As none of the three enzymes that reduce NO account for the majority of the rate of NO reduction, additional mechanisms remain to be discovered. Little is known about the biochemistry of damage repair. Whatever the growth conditions and however severe the nitrosative stress, groups of proteins are synthesized to protect the bacterial cytoplasm against the side effects of nitrate and nitrite reduction. The enigmatic hybrid cluster protein is more likely to be part of a repair pathway than a hydroxylamine reductase, as annotated in many genome databases.
Original languageEnglish
JournalFEMS Microbiology Letters
Publication statusPublished - 3 Oct 2011


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