Section 25
Chapter 24,603

Electron transport chains and bioenergetics of respiratory nitrogen metabolism in Wolinella succinogenes and other Epsilonproteobacteria

Kern, M.; Simon, J.ör.

Biochimica et Biophysica Acta 1787(6): 646-656


ISSN/ISBN: 0006-3002
PMID: 19171117
DOI: 10.1016/j.bbabio.2008.12.010
Accession: 024602685

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Recent phylogenetic analyses have established that the Epsilonproteobacteria form a globally ubiquitous group of ecologically significant organisms that comprises a diverse range of free-living bacteria as well as host-associated organisms like Wolinella succinogenes and pathogenic Campylobacter and Helicobacter species. Many Epsilonproteobacteria reduce nitrate and nitrite and perform either respiratory nitrate ammonification or denitrification. The inventory of epsilonproteobacterial genomes from 21 different species was analysed with respect to key enzymes involved in respiratory nitrogen metabolism. Most ammonifying Epsilonproteobacteria employ two enzymic electron transport systems named Nap (periplasmic nitrate reductase) and Nrf (periplasmic cytochrome c nitrite reductase). The current knowledge on the architecture and function of the corresponding proton motive force-generating respiratory chains using low-potential electron donors are reviewed in this article and the role of membrane-bound quinone/quinol-reactive proteins (NapH and NrfH) that are representative of widespread bacterial electron transport modules is highlighted. Notably, all Epsilonproteobacteria lack a napC gene in their nap gene clusters. Possible roles of the Nap and Nrf systems in anabolism and nitrosative stress defence are also discussed. Free-living denitrifying Epsilonproteobacteria lack the Nrf system but encode cytochrome cd(1) nitrite reductase, at least one nitric oxide reductase and a characteristic cytochrome c nitrous oxide reductase system (cNosZ). Interestingly, cNosZ is also found in some ammonifying Epsilonproteobacteria and enables nitrous oxide respiration in W. succinogenes.

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