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

The NAD(P)H:flavin oxidoreductase from Escherichia coli as a source of superoxide radicals.

The NAD(P)H:flavin oxidoreductase (encoded by the fre gene) of Escherichia coli is a soluble enzyme which, under aerobic conditions and together with NAD(P)H and flavins, generates superoxide radicals selectively. This was demonstrated from spin trapping experiments and from the ability of the flavin reductase to achieve a superoxide dismutase (SOD)-sensitive reduction of cytochrome c. The participation of the flavin reductase to O2-. generation in E. coli cells has been studied. Superoxide production in dialyzed cytosolic fraction of SOD-deficient E. coli was stimulated by the addition of flavins. There was no stimulation in soluble extracts of flavin reductase-deficient strains. Moreover, using fusions of sodA promoter to lacZ, we showed that sodA transcription was diminished in flavin reductase-deficient E. coli and that the induction of MnSOD by flavin reductase was SoxRS-independent. These results suggest that the flavin reductase might: (i) in vivo, be an important cytosolic site of O2-. generation; (ii) in vitro, serve as a simple, efficient, and selective O2-. generator.[1]


  1. The NAD(P)H:flavin oxidoreductase from Escherichia coli as a source of superoxide radicals. Gaudu, P., Touati, D., Nivière, V., Fontecave, M. J. Biol. Chem. (1994) [Pubmed]
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