Bacterial cellular metabolism is renowned for its metabolic diversity and adaptability. However, certain environments present particular challenges. Aerobic metabolism of highly reduced carbon substrates by soil bacteria such as Paracoccus pantotrophus presents one such challenge since it may result in excessive electron delivery to the respiratory redox chain when compared with the availability of terminal oxidant, O2. The level of a periplasmic ubiquinol-dependent nitrate reductase, NAP, is up-regulated in the presence of highly reduced carbon substrates. NAP oxidizes ubiquinol at the periplasmic face of the cytoplasmic membrane and reduces nitrate in the periplasm. Thus its activity counteracts the accumulation of excess reducing equivalents in ubiquinol, thereby maintaining the redox poise of the ubiquinone/ubiquinol pool without contributing to the protonmotive force across the cytoplasmic membrane. Although P. pantotrophus NapAB shows a high level of substrate specificity towards nitrate, the enzyme has also been reported to reduce selenate in spectrophotometric solution assays. This transaction draws on our current knowledge concerning the bacterial respiratory nitrate reductases and extends the application of PFE (protein film electrochemistry) to resolve and quantify the selenate reductase activity of NapAB.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)236-242
Number of pages7
JournalBiochemical Society Transactions
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2011

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