Identification of the sources of nitrous oxide produced by oxidative and reductive processes in Nitrosomonas europaea.
ABSTRACT: 1. Cells of Nitrosomonas europaea produced N(2)O during the oxidation of ammonia and hydroxylamine. 2. The end-product of ammonia oxidation, nitrite, was the predominant source of N(2)O in cells. 3. Cells also produced N(2)O, but not N(2) gas, by the reduction of nitrite under anaerobic conditions. 4. Hydroxylamine was oxidized by cell-free extracts to yield nitrite and N(2)O aerobically, but to yield N(2)O and NO anaerobically. 5. Cell extracts reduced nitrite both aerobically and anaerobically to NO and N(2)O with hydroxylamine as an electron donor. 6. The relative amounts of NO and N(2)O produced during hydroxylamine oxidation and/or nitrite reduction are dependent on the type of artificial electron acceptor utilized. 7. Partially purified hydroxylamine oxidase retained nitrite reductase activity but cytochrome oxidase was absent. 8. There is a close association of hydroxylamine oxidase and nitrite reductase activities in purified preparations.
Project description:1. Free-energy calculations for pH7 showed that the oxidation of ammonia to hydroxylamine is endergonic and that the oxidations of hydroxylamine to nitrite and hydrazine to nitrogen are exergonic. It is suggested that the oxidation of ammonia requires the expenditure of energy. 2. The anaerobic dehydrogenation of hydrazine to nitrogen by extracts of the autotrophic nitrifying micro-organism, Nitrosomonas, in the presence of methylene blue as electron acceptor, was less rapid than the anaerobic dehydrogenation of hydroxylamine to nitric oxide. The inhibition by hydrazine of the dehydrogenation of hydroxylamine was attributed to substrate competition. 3. Whole cells in air did not produce nitrite from hydrazine. They produced nitrite from low concentrations of hydroxylamine more rapidly than from equimolar concentrations of ammonia; this result is consistent if hydroxylamine is an intermediate of the oxidation of ammonia. 4. The production of nitrite from hydroxylamine by whole cells was slightly inhibited by hydrazine, but the production of nitrite from ammonia was greatly inhibited and small amounts of hydroxylamine were formed. These results suggested that the dehydrogenation of hydroxylamine supplied energy required for the oxidation of ammonia and that hydroxylamine appeared because the energy production was replaced by that of the dehydrogenation of hydrazine. 5. The oxidation of hydroxylamine by whole cells was not inhibited by thiourea, but micromolar concentrations of the metal-binding agent markedly inhibited the oxidation of ammonia to hydroxylamine, suggesting that the oxidation of ammonia involved copper. A possible mechanism for the activation of ammonia is suggested.
Project description:The reductase enzymes in Nitrosomonas and Nitrobacter were studied under anaerobic conditions when the oxidase enzymes were inactive. The most effective electron-donor systems for nitrate reductase in Nitrobacter were reduced benzyl viologen alone, phenazine methosulphate with either NADH or NADPH, and FMN or FAD with NADH. Nitrite and hydroxylamine reductases were found in both nitrifying bacteria, and optimum activity for each enzyme was obtained with NADH or NADPH with either FMN or FAD. The product of both these enzymes was identified as ammonia. In extracts of Nitrosomonas the ammonia was further utilized by an NADPH-specific glutamate dehydrogenase. (15)N-labelled nitrite, hydroxylamine and ammonia were rapidly incorporated into cell protein by Nitrosomonas, and Nitrobacter in addition incorporated [(15)N]nitrate. Relatively gentle methods of cell disruption were compared with ultrasonic treatment, to enable a more exact study to be undertaken of the intracellular distribution of the oxidase and reductase enzymes. The functional relationship of these opposing enzyme systems in the nitrifying bacteria is considered.
Project description:Nitrite reductase has been separated from cell-free extracts of Nitrosomonas and partially purified from hydroxylamine oxidase by polyacrylamide-gel electrophoresis. In its oxidized state the enzyme, which did not contain haem, had an extinction maximum at 590nm, which was abolished on reduction. Sodium diethyldithiocarbamate was a potent inhibitor of nitrite reductase. Enzyme activity was stimulated 2.5-fold when remixed with hydroxylamine oxidase, but was unaffected by mammalian cytochrome c. The enzyme also exhibited a low hydroxylamine-dependent nitrite reductase activity. The results suggest that this enzyme is similar to the copper-containing ;denitrifying enzyme' of Pseudomonas denitrificans. A dithionite-reduced, 465nm-absorbing haemoprotein was associated with homogeneous preparations of hydroxylamine oxidase. The band at 465nm maximum was not reduced during the oxidation of hydroxylamine although the extinction was abolished on addition of hydroxylamine, NO(2) (-) or CO. These last-named compounds when added to the oxidized enzyme precluded the appearance of the 465nm-absorption band on addition of dithionite. Several properties of 465nm-absorbing haemoprotein are described.
Project description:1. Enzyme systems from Cucurbita pepo have been shown to catalyse the reduction of nitrite and hydroxylamine to ammonia in yields about 90-100%. 2. Reduced benzyl viologen serves as an efficient electron donor for both systems. Activity of the nitrite-reductase system is directly related to degree of dye reduction when expressed in terms of the function for oxidation-reduction potentials, but appears to decrease to negligible activity below about 9% dye reduction. 3. NADH and NADPH alone produce negligible nitrite loss, but NADPH can be linked to an endogenous diaphorase system to reduce nitrite to ammonia in the presence of catalytic amounts of benzyl viologen. 4. The NADH- or NADPH-nitrate-reductase system that is also present can accept electrons from reduced benzyl viologen, but shows relationships opposite to that for the nitrite-reductase system with regard to effect of degree of dye reduction on activity. The product of nitrate reduction may be nitrite alone, or nitrite and ammonia, or ammonia alone, according only to the degree of dye reduction. 5. The relative activities of nitrite-reductase and hydroxylamine-reductase systems show different relationships with degree of dye reduction and may become reversed in magnitude when effects of degree of dye reduction are tested over a suitable range. 6. Nitrite severely inhibits the rate of reduction of hydroxylamine without affecting the yield of ammonia as a percentage of total substrate loss, but hydroxylamine has a negligible effect on the activity of the nitrite-reductase system. 7. The apparent K(m) for nitrite (1 mum) is substantially less than that for hydroxylamine, for which variable values between 0.05 and 0.9mm (mean 0.51 mm) have been observed. 8. The apparent K(m) values for reduced benzyl viologen differ for the nitrite-reductase and hydroxylamine-reductase systems: 60 and 7.5 mum respectively. 9. It is concluded that free hydroxylamine may not be an intermediate in the reduction of nitrite to ammonia by plants, and a possible mechanism for reduction of both compounds by the same enzyme system is discussed in the light of current ideas relating to other organisms.
Project description:The gene encoding a nitric oxide reductase has been identified in Neisseria gonorrhoeae. The norB gene product shares significant identity with the nitric oxide reductases in Ralstonia eutropha and Synechocystis sp. and, like those organisms, the gonococcus lacks a norC homolog. The gonococcal norB gene was found to be required for anaerobic growth, but the absence of norB did not dramatically decrease anaerobic survival. In a wild-type background, induction of norB expression was seen anaerobically in the presence of nitrite but not anaerobically without nitrite or aerobically. norB expression is not regulated by FNR or NarP, but a functional aniA gene (which encodes an anaerobically induced outer membrane nitrite reductase) is necessary for expression. When aniA is constitutively expressed, norB expression can be induced both anaerobically and aerobically, but only in the presence of nitrite, suggesting that nitric oxide, which is likely to be produced by AniA as a product of nitrite reduction, is the inducing agent. This was confirmed with the use of the nitric oxide donor, spermine-nitric oxide complex, in an aniA null background both anaerobically and aerobically. NorB is important for gonococcal adaptation to an anaerobic environment, a physiologically relevant state during gonococcal infection. The presence of this enzyme, which is induced by nitric oxide, may also have implications in immune evasion and immunomodulation in the human host.
Project description:Nitrite reductase was purified between 760- and 1300-fold from vegetable marrow (Cucurbita pepo L.) and residual hydroxylamine reductase activity was low or negligible by comparison. With ferredoxin as electron donor, nitrite loss and ammonia formation at pH7.5 were stoicheiometrically equivalent. Crude nitrite reductase preparations showed negligible activity with NADPH as electron donor maintained in the reduced state by glucose 6-phosphate, whereas by comparison, activity was high when either ferredoxin or benzyl viologen were also present and reduced by the NADPH-glucose 6-phosphate system, whereas FMNH(2) produced variable and relatively low activity under the same conditions. At pH values below 7, non-enzymic reactions occurred between reduced benzyl viologen and nitrite, and intermediate reduction products were inferred to be produced instead of ammonia. Activity with ferredoxin (0.1mm), reduced by chloroplast grana in the light, was 25 times that produced with ferredoxin (40mum) reduced with NADPH and glucose 6-phosphate. For an approximate molecular weight 61000-63000 derived by chromatography on Sephadex G-100 and G-200, and a specific activity of 46mumol of nitrite reduced/min per mg of protein with light and chloroplast grana, a minimum turnover number of 3x10(3)mol of nitrite reduced/min per mol of enzyme was found. Two hydroxylamine reductases were separated on Sephadex gels. One (HR1) was initially associated with nitrite reductase during gel filtration but disappeared during later fractionation. This HR1 fraction showed nearly comparable activity with reduced benzyl viologen, ferredoxin or FMNH(2). The other (HR2), of molecular weight approx. 35000, reacted with reduced benzyl viologen but showed negligible activity with ferredoxin or NADPH. Activity with FMNH(2) was associated with an irregular trailing boundary during gel filtration, with much diminished activity in the HR2 region. Activity with NADPH was about 30% of that with FMNH(2), reduced benzyl viologen or ferredoxin and was considered to reside in fraction HR1. Hydroxylamine yielded ammonia under all assay conditions. No activity with hyponitrite or sulphite was observed with reduced benzyl viologen as electron donor in either the nitrite reductase or the hydroxylamine reductase systems, but pyruvic oxime produced about 4% of the activity of hydroxylamine.
Project description:Aerobic ammonia-oxidizing archaea (AOA) play a crucial role in the global nitrogen cycle by oxidizing ammonia to nitrite, and nitric oxide (NO) is a key intermediate in AOA for sustaining aerobic ammonia oxidation activity. We herein heterologously expressed the NO-forming, copper-containing, dissimilatory nitrite reductase (NirK) from Nitrososphaera viennensis and investigated its enzymatic properties. The recombinant protein catalyzed the reduction of 15NO2- to 15NO, the oxidation of hydroxylamine (15NH2OH) to 15NO, and the production of 14-15N2O from 15NH2OH and 14NO2-. To the best of our knowledge, the present study is the first to document the enzymatic properties of AOA NirK.
Project description:The tetraheme cytochrome c(554) (cyt c(554)) from Nitrosomonas europaea is believed to function as an electron-transfer protein from hydroxylamine oxidoreductase (HAO). We show here that cyt c(554) also has significant NO reductase activity. The protein contains one high-spin and three low-spin c-type hemes. HAO catalyzed reduction of the cyt c(554), ligand binding, intermolecular electron transfer, and kinetics of NO reduction by cyt c(554) have been investigated. We detect the formation of a NO-bound ferrous heme species in cyt c(554) by EPR and Mössbauer spectroscopies during the HAO catalyzed oxidation of hydroxylamine, indicating that N-oxide intermediates produced from HAO readily bind to cyt c(554). In the half-reduced state of cyt c(554), we detect a spin interaction between the [FeNO](7) state of heme 2 and the low-spin ferric state of heme 4. We find that ferrous cyt c(554) will reduce NO at a rate greater than 16 s(-1), which is comparable to rates of other known NO reductases. Carbon monoxide or nitrite are shown not to bind to the reduced protein, and previous results indicate the reactions with O(2) are slow and that a variety of ligands will not bind in the oxidized state. Thus, the enzymatic site is highly selective for NO. The NO reductase activity of cyt c(554) may be important during ammonia oxidation in N. europaea at low oxygen concentrations to detoxify NO produced by reduction of nitrite or incomplete oxidation of hydroxylamine.
Project description:The ferredoxin-dependent nitrite reductase from the green alga Chlamydomonas reinhardtii has been cloned, expressed in Escherichia coli as a His-tagged recombinant protein, and purified to homogeneity. The spectra, kinetic properties and substrate-binding parameters of the C. reinhardtii enzyme are quite similar to those of the ferredoxin-dependent spinach chloroplast nitrite reductase. Computer modeling, based on the published structure of spinach nitrite reductase, predicts that the structure of C. reinhardtii nitrite reductase will be similar to that of the spinach enzyme. Chemical modification studies and the ionic-strength dependence of the enzyme's ability to interact with ferredoxin are consistent with the involvement of arginine and lysine residues on C. reinhardtii nitrite reductase in electrostatically-stabilized binding to ferredoxin. The C. reinhardtii enzyme has been used to demonstrate that hydroxylamine can serve as an electron-accepting substrate for the enzyme and that the product of hydroxylamine reduction is ammonia, providing the first experimental evidence for the hypothesis that hydroxylamine, bound to the enzyme, can serve as a late intermediate during the reduction of nitrite to ammonia catalyzed by the enzyme.
Project description:The process of nitrate reduction via nitrite controls the fate and bioavailability of mineral nitrogen within ecosystems; i.e., whether it is retained as ammonium (ammonification) or lost as nitrous oxide or dinitrogen (denitrification). Here, we present experimental evidence for a novel pathway of microbial nitrate reduction, the reverse hydroxylamine:ubiquinone reductase module (reverse-HURM) pathway. Instead of a classical ammonia-forming nitrite reductase that performs a 6 electron-transfer process, the pathway is thought to employ two catalytic redox modules operating in sequence: the reverse-HURM reducing nitrite to hydroxylamine followed by a hydroxylamine reductase that converts hydroxylamine to ammonium. Experiments were performed on Nautilia profundicola strain AmH, whose genome sequence led to the reverse-HURM pathway proposal. N. profundicola produced ammonium from nitrate, which was assimilated into biomass. Furthermore, genes encoding the catalysts of the reverse-HURM pathway were preferentially expressed during growth of N. profundicola on nitrate as an electron acceptor relative to cultures grown on polysulfide as an electron acceptor. Finally, nitrate-grown cells of N. profundicola were able to rapidly and stoichiometrically convert high concentrations of hydroxylamine to ammonium in resting cell assays. These experiments are consistent with the reverse-HURM pathway and a free hydroxylamine intermediate, but could not definitively exclude direct nitrite reduction to ammonium by the reverse-HURM with hydroxylamine as an off-pathway product. N. profundicola and related organisms are models for a new pathway of nitrate ammonification that may have global impact due to the wide distribution of these organisms in hypoxic environments and symbiotic or pathogenic associations with animal hosts.