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Chem Biol. 2008 Jan;15(1):43-50. doi: 10.1016/j.chembiol.2007.11.014.

Plant-pathogenic Streptomyces species produce nitric oxide synthase-derived nitric oxide in response to host signals.

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Department of Plant Pathology, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY 14853, USA.


Nitric oxide (NO) is a potent intercellular signal for defense, development, and metabolism in animals and plants. In mammals, highly regulated nitric oxide synthases (NOSs) generate NO. NOS homologs exist in some prokaryotes, but direct evidence for NO production by these proteins has been lacking. Here, we demonstrate that a NOS in plant-pathogenic Streptomyces species produces diffusible NO. NOS-dependent NO production increased in response to cellobiose, a plant cell wall component, and occurred at the host-pathogen interface, demonstrating induction by host signals. These data document in vivo production of NO by prokaryotic NOSs and implicate pathogen-derived NO in host-pathogen interactions. NO may serve as a signaling molecule in other NOS-containing bacteria, including the medically and environmentally important organisms Bacillus anthracis, Staphylococcus aureus, and Deinococcus radiodurans.

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