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Environ Microbiol. 2005 Aug;7(8):1211-9.

PnrA, a new nitroreductase-family enzyme in the TNT-degrading strain Pseudomonas putida JLR11.

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Department of Biochemistry and Molecular and Cellular Biology of Plants, Estación Experimental del Zaidín, Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas, Apdo Correos 419, E-18008 Granada, Spain.


Nitroreductases are a group of proteins that catalyse pyridine nucleotide-dependent reduction of nitroaromatics compounds, showing significant human health and environmental implications. In this study we have identified the nitroreductase-family enzymes PnrA and PnrB from the TNT-degrading strain Pseudomonas putida. The enzyme encoded by the pnrA gene was expressed in Escherichia coli, purified to homogeneity and shown to be a flavoprotein that used 2 mol of NADPH to reduce 1 mol of 2,4,6-trinitrotoluene (TNT) to 4-hydroxylamine-2,6-dinitrotoluene, using a ping-pong bi-bi mechanism. The PnrA enzyme also recognized as substrates as a number of other nitroaromatic compounds, i.e. 2,4-dinitrotoluene, 3-nitrotoluene, 3- and 4-nitrobenzoate, 3,5-dinitrobenzamide and 3,5-dinitroaniline expanding the substrates profile from previously described nitroreductases. However, TNT resulted to be the most efficient substrate examined according to the Vmax/Km parameter. Expression analysis of pnrA- and pnrB-mRNA isolated from cells growing on different nitrogen sources suggested that expression of both genes was constitutive and that its level of expression was relatively constant regardless of the growth substrate. This is in agreement with enzyme-specific activity determined with cells growing with different N-sources.

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