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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Inhibition of ammonia monooxygenase in Nitrosomonas europaea by carbon disulfide.

Carbon disulfide has long been recognized as a potent inhibitor of nitrification, and it is the likely active component in several nitrification inhibitors suitable for field use. The effects of this compound on Nitrosomonas europaea have been investigated, and the site of action has been determined. Low concentrations of CS2 (less than 400 microM) produced a time-dependent inhibition of ammonia-dependent O2 uptake but did not inhibit hydrazine-oxidizing activity. CS2 also produced distinct changes in difference spectra of whole cells. These results suggest that ammonia monooxygenase ( AMO) is the site of action of CS2. Unlike the case for thiourea and acetylene, saturating concentrations of CS2 did not fully inhibit AMO, and the inhibition resulted in a low but significant rate of ammonia-dependent O2 uptake. The effects of CS2 were not competitive with respect to ammonia concentration, and the inhibition by CS2 did not require the turnover of AMO to take effect. The ability of CS2-treated cells to incorporate [14C]acetylene into the 28-kilodalton polypeptide of AMO was used to demonstrate that the effects of CS2 are compatible with a mode of action which involves a reduction of the rate of turnover of AMO without effects on the catalytic mechanism. It is proposed that CS2 may act on AMO by reversibly reacting with a suitable nucleophilic amino acid in close proximity to the active site copper.[1]


  1. Inhibition of ammonia monooxygenase in Nitrosomonas europaea by carbon disulfide. Hyman, M.R., Kim, C.Y., Arp, D.J. J. Bacteriol. (1990) [Pubmed]
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