Electron transfer process in microbial electrochemical technologies: the role of cell-surface exposed conductive proteins

Nazua L. Costa, Thomas A. Clarke, Laura-Alina Philipp, Johannes Gescher, Ricardo O. Louro, Catarina M. Paquete

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71 Citations (Scopus)
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Electroactive microorganisms have attracted significant interest for the development of novel biotechnological systems of low ecological footprint. These can be used for the sustainable production of energy, bioremediation of metal-contaminated environments and production of added-value products. Currently, almost 100 microorganisms from the Bacterial and Archaeal domains are considered electroactive, given their ability to efficiently interact with electrodes in microbial electrochemical technologies. Cell-surface exposed conductive proteins are key players in the electron transfer between cells and electrodes. Interestingly, it seems that among the electroactive organisms identified so far, these cell-surface proteins fall into one of four groups. In this review, the different types of cell-surface conductive proteins found in electroactive organisms will be overviewed, focusing on their structural and functional properties.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)308-317
JournalBioresource Technology
Early online date31 Jan 2018
Publication statusPublished - May 2018


  • Extracellular electron transfer
  • Cell-surface exposed conductive proteins
  • Multiheme c-type cytochromes
  • Electroactive bacteria
  • Microbial electrochemical technologies

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