Caister Academic Press

Nitric Oxide Metabolism: Physiology and Regulatory Mechanisms

Stephen Spiro
from: Nitrogen Cycling in Bacteria: Molecular Analysis (Edited by: James W. B. Moir). Caister Academic Press, U.K. (2011)


Nitric oxide (NO) is synthesised in bacteria as a product of the reduction of nitrite or the oxidation of arginine. NO is growth inhibitory, due to its ability to inhibit respiratory oxidases and [Fe-S] cluster containing dehydratases. NO also reacts with oxygen and biologically relevant oxygen radicals (such as superoxide) to generate a number of other toxic reactive nitrogen species. NO detoxification is typically accomplished by oxidation to nitrate, or reduction to nitrous oxide or ammonia, and these activities have been associated with a variety of enzymes. In many cases, expression of the genes encoding NO detoxification activities is controlled by NO-sensitive regulatory proteins. This Chapter describes the different pathways for NO synthesis and consumption in bacteria, and the mechanisms and roles of the associated regulatory proteins. The Chapter also reviews the growing body of evidence that implicates NO in regulating other physiological processes, including [Fe-S] cluster biogenesis, metabolism, motility and biofilm development read more ...
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