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Biochem J. Nov 15, 1999; 344(Pt 1): 69–76.
PMCID: PMC1220615

Essential roles for the products of the napABCD genes, but not napFGH, in periplasmic nitrate reduction by Escherichia coli K-12.


The seven nap genes at minute 47 on the Escherichia coli K-12 chromosome encode a functional nitrate reductase located in the periplasm. The molybdoprotein, NapA, is known to be essential for nitrate reduction. We now demonstrate that the two c-type cytochromes, the periplasmic NapB and the membrane-associated NapC, as well as a fourth polypeptide, NapD, are also essential for nitrate reduction in the periplasm by physiological substrates such as glycerol, formate and glucose. None of the three iron-sulphur proteins, NapF, NapG or NapH, are essential, irrespective of whether the bacteria are grown anaerobically in the presence of nitrate or fumarate as a terminal electron acceptor, or by glucose fermentation. Mutation of napD resulted in the total loss of Methyl Viologen-dependent nitrate reductase activity of the molybdoprotein, NapA, consistent with an earlier suggestion by others that NapD might be required for post-translational modification of NapA.

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Selected References

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