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Mol Microbiol. 1990 Feb;4(2):315-9.

Effect of positive redox potentials (greater than +400 mV) on the expression of anaerobic respiratory enzymes in Escherichia coli.

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1
Institut für Mikrobiologie, J. W. Goethe-Universität, Frankfurt, FRG.

Abstract

The expression of fumarate reductase and other enzymes of anaerobic respiration in Escherichia coli was studied as a function of the redox potential (Eh) in the medium. Redox potentials up to +300 mV allowed full expression of fumarate reductase (frd) genes. Higher values resulted in decreased expression. The relationship between Eh and expression of frd could be approximated by the Nernst equation, assuming a redox couple with a midpoint potential Eo' = +400 mV to 440 mV. At Eh values greater than +510 mV (generated anaerobically by hexacyanoferrate(III] the degree of repression was the same as that obtained by O2. Hexacyanoferrate(III) also caused decreased activities of dimethylsulphoxide (DMSO), nitrite and nitrate reductases. Since expression of these enzymes depends on FNR, the gene activator of anaerobic respiratory genes, it is suggested that the function of FNR is controlled by a redox couple of Eo' = +400 mV to 440 mV.

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