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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.

PROVIDER: S-EPMC1206403 | BioStudies | 1965-01-01

REPOSITORIES: biostudies

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