Section 60
Chapter 59,022

The Paracoccus denitrificans NarK-like nitrate and nitrite transporters-probing nitrate uptake and nitrate/nitrite exchange mechanisms

Goddard, A.D.; Bali, S.; Mavridou, D.A.I.; Luque-Almagro, V.M.; Gates, A.J.; Dolores Roldán, M.; Newstead, S.; Richardson, D.J.; Ferguson, S.J.

Molecular Microbiology 103(1): 117-133


ISSN/ISBN: 1365-2958
PMID: 27696579
DOI: 10.1111/mmi.13546
Accession: 059021837

Nitrate and nitrite transport across biological membranes is often facilitated by protein transporters that are members of the major facilitator superfamily. Paracoccus denitrificans contains an unusual arrangement whereby two of these transporters, NarK1 and NarK2, are fused into a single protein, NarK, which delivers nitrate to the respiratory nitrate reductase and transfers the product, nitrite, to the periplasm. Our complementation studies, using a mutant lacking the nitrate/proton symporter NasA from the assimilatory nitrate reductase pathway, support that NarK1 functions as a nitrate/proton symporter while NarK2 is a nitrate/nitrite antiporter. Through the same experimental system, we find that Escherichia coli NarK and NarU can complement deletions in both narK and nasA in P. denitrificans, suggesting that, while these proteins are most likely nitrate/nitrite antiporters, they can also act in the net uptake of nitrate. Finally, we argue that primary sequence analysis and structural modelling do not readily explain why NasA, NarK1 and NarK2, as well as other transporters from this protein family, have such different functions, ranging from net nitrate uptake to nitrate/nitrite exchange.

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