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FEMS Microbiol Rev. 2007 Mar;31(2):193-211.

Regulators of bacterial responses to nitric oxide.

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Department of Molecular and Cell Biology, The University of Texas at Dallas, Richardson, Texas 75083-0688, USA.


Nitric oxide (NO) is an intermediate of the respiratory pathway known as denitrification, and is a by-product of anaerobic nitrite respiration in the enteric Bacteria. Pathogens are also exposed to NO inside host phagocytes, and possibly in other host niches as well. In recent years it has become apparent that there are multiple regulatory systems in prokaryotes that mediate responses to NO exposure. Owing to its reactivity, NO also has the potential to perturb the activities of other regulatory proteins, which are not necessarily directly involved in the response to NO. This review describes the current state of understanding of regulatory systems that respond to NO. An emerging trend is the predominance of iron proteins among the known physiological NO sensors.

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