THE REDUCTION OF NITRATE, NITRITE AND HYDROXYLAMINE TO AMMONIA BY ENZYMES FROM CUCURBITA PEPO L. IN THE PRESENCE OF REDUCED BENZYL VIOLOGEN AS ELECTRON DONOR.
ABSTRACT: 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: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:1. In Aspergillus nidulans nitrate and nitrite induce nitrate reductase, nitrite reductase and hydroxylamine reductase, and ammonium represses the three enzymes. 2. Nitrate reductase can donate electrons to a wide variety of acceptors in addition to nitrate. These artificial acceptors include benzyl viologen, 2-(p-iodophenyl)-3-(p-nitrophenyl)-5-phenyltetrazolium chloride, cytochrome c and potassium ferricyanide. Similarly nitrite reductase and hydroxylamine reductase (which are possibly a single enzyme in A. nidulans) can donate electrons to these same artificial acceptors in addition to the substrates nitrite and hydroxylamine. 3. Nitrate reductase can accept electrons from reduced benzyl viologen in place of the natural donor NADPH. The NADPH-nitrate-reductase activity is about twice that of reduced benzyl viologen-nitrate reductase under comparable conditions. 4. Mutants at six gene loci are known that cannot utilize nitrate and lack nitrate-reductase activity. Most mutants in these loci are constitutive for nitrite reductase, hydroxylamine reductase and all the nitrate-induced NADPH-diaphorase activities. It is argued that mutants that lack nitrate-reductase activity are constitutive for the enzymes of the nitrate-reduction pathway because the functional nitrate-reductase molecule is a component of the regulatory system of the pathway. 5. Mutants are known at two gene loci, niiA and niiB, that cannot utilize nitrite and lack nitrite-reductase and hydroxylamine-reductase activities. 6. Mutants at the niiA locus possess inducible nitrate reductase and lack nitrite-reductase and hydroxylamine-reductase activities. It is suggested that a single enzyme protein is responsible for the reduction of nitrite to ammonium in A. nidulans and that the niiA locus is the structural gene for this enzyme. 7. Mutants at the niiB locus lack nitrate-reductase, nitrite-reductase and hydroxylamine-reductase activities. It is argued that the niiB gene is a regulator gene whose product is necessary for the induction of the nitrate-utilization pathway. The niiB mutants either lack or produce an incorrect product and consequently cannot be induced. 8. Mutants at the niiribo locus cannot utilize nitrate or nitrite unless provided with a flavine supplement. When grown in the absence of a flavine supplement the activities of some of the nitrate-induced enzymes are subnormal. 9. The growth and enzyme characteristics of a total of 123 mutants involving nine different genes indicate that nitrate is reduced to ammonium. Only two possible structural genes for enzymes concerned with nitrate utilization are known. This suggests that only two enzymes, one for the reduction of nitrate to nitrite, the other for the reduction of nitrite to ammonium, are involved in this pathway.
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: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. NADPH-dependent nitrite reductase from the leaves of higher plants was purified at least 70-fold and separated into two enzyme fractions. The first enzyme, a diaphorase with ferredoxin-NADP-reductase activity, is required only to transfer electrons from NADPH to a suitable electron acceptor, which then donates electrons to nitrite reductase proper. 2. Purified nitrite reductase accepted electrons from ferredoxin (the natural donor) or from reduced dyes. Ferredoxin was reduced by illuminated chloroplasts or dithionite, or by NADPH when diaphorase was present. The purified enzyme did not accept electrons directly from NADPH. 3. Ferredoxins purified from maize, spinach or Clostridium were interchangeable in the nitrite-reductase system. 4. Nitrite reductase had K(m) 0.15mm for nitrite. The pH optimum varied with plant and method of assay. The preparation had low sulphite-reductase activity. Ammonia was the product of nitrite reduction. 5. For some plants, the assay of crude preparations with NADPH was limited by diaphorase and the addition of diaphorase gave a better estimate of nitrite-reductase activity. A simple method of assay is described that uses dithionite with benzyl viologen as electron donor.
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:Cytochrome c nitrite reductase (ccNiR) from Shewanella oneidensis, which catalyzes the six-electron reduction of nitrite to ammonia in vivo, was shown to oxidize hydroxylamine in the presence of large quantities of this substrate, yielding nitrite as the sole free nitrogenous product. UV-visible stopped-flow and rapid-freeze-quench electron paramagnetic resonance data, along with product analysis, showed that the equilibrium between hydroxylamine and nitrite is fairly rapidly established in the presence of high initial concentrations of hydroxylamine, despite said equilibrium lying far to the left. By contrast, reduction of hydroxylamine to ammonia did not occur, even though disproportionation of hydroxylamine to yield both nitrite and ammonia is strongly thermodynamically favored. This suggests a kinetic barrier to the ccNiR-catalyzed reduction of hydroxylamine to ammonia. A mechanism for hydroxylamine reduction is proposed in which the hydroxide group is first protonated and released as water, leaving what is formally an NH2(+) moiety bound at the heme active site. This species could be a metastable intermediate or a transition state but in either case would exist only if it were stabilized by the donation of electrons from the ccNiR heme pool into the empty nitrogen p orbital. In this scenario, ccNiR does not catalyze disproportionation because the electron-donating hydroxylamine does not poise the enzyme at a sufficiently low potential to stabilize the putative dehydrated hydroxylamine; presumably, a stronger reductant is required for this.
Project description:The presence of nitrate is required for the induced synthesis of NADPH-nitrate reductase and its related partial activity Benzyl Viologen-nitrate reductase in a wild-type strain of Neurospora. In nit-3, a mutant lacking complete NADPH-nitrate reductase activity but retaining the partial activity Benzyl Viologen-nitrate reductase, the presence of nitrate ions is not required for the de-repressed synthesis of the latter enzyme. The accumulation of the capacity to synthesize nitrate reductase, and the related Benzyl Viologen-nitrate reductase, in the absence of protein synthesis does not require nitrate in the normal strain or in strain nit-3. Ammonia antagonizes the accumulation of this capacity in both strains. Nitrate is required for the synthesis of nitrate reductase and related activities from presumedly preformed mRNA in the wild-type strain. Nitrate is not required for the comparable function in strain nit-3. Ammonia appears to stop the synthesis of nitrate reductase and related activities from presumedly preformed mRNA in the wild-type strain and in strain nit-3. The effects of nitrate, or ammonia and of no nitrogen source on the induced synthesis of nitrate reductase cannot be explained on the basis of the effects of the different nitrogen sources on general synthesis of RNA or of protein.
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.
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.