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

Kinetics of membrane-bound nitrate reductase A from Escherichia coli with analogues of physiological electron donors--different reaction sites for menadiol and duroquinol.

We have compared the steady-state kinetics of wild-type nitrate reductase A and two mutant forms with altered beta subunits. To mimic conditions in vivo as closely as possible, we used analogues of the physiological quinols as electron donors and membranes with overexpressed nitrate reductase A in preference to a purified alpha beta gamma complex. With the wild-type enzyme both menadiol and duroquinol supply their electrons for the reduction of nitrate at rates that depend on the square of the quinol concentration, menadiol having the higher catalytic constant. The results as a whole are consistent with a substituted-enzyme mechanism for the reduction of nitrate by the quinols. Kinetic experiments suggest that duroquinol and menadiol deliver their electrons at different sites on nitrate reductase, with cross-inhibition. Menadiol inhibits the duroquinol reaction strongly, suggesting that menaquinol may be the preferred substrate in vivo. To examine whether electron transfer from menadiol and duroquinol for nitrate reduction requires the presence of all of the Fe-S centres, we have studied the steady-state kinetics of mutants with beta subunits that lack an Fe-S centre. The loss of the highest-potential Fe-S centre results in an enzyme without menadiol activity, but retaining duroquinol activity; the kinetic parameters are within a factor of two of those of the wild-type enzyme, indicating that this centre is not required for the duroquinol activity. The loss of a low-potential Fe-S centre affects the activity with both quinols: the enzyme is still active but the catalytic constants for both quinols are decreased by about 75%, indicating that this centre is important but not essential for the activity. The existence of a specific site of reaction on nitrate reductase for each quinol, together with the differences in the effects on the two quinols produced by the loss of the Fe-S centre of +80 mV, suggests that the pathways for transfer of electrons from duroquinol and menadiol are not identical.[1]


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