Reduction of NO to N2O by denitrifiying bacteria is catalyzed either by a monomeric quinol-nitric oxide reductase (qNor) or by a heterodimeric cytochrome c-dependent nitric oxide reductase (cNor). In ancient thermophilic bacteria belonging to the Thermales and Aquificales phylogenetic groups, the cluster encoding the cNor includes a small third gene (norH), in addition to those encoding homologues to the subunits of a typical cNor (norC and norB). We show in Thermus thermophilus that the three genes are cotranscribed in a single mRNA from an inducible promoter. The isolation of individual nor mutants and the production in vivo of His-tagged NorH protein followed by immobilized-metal affinity chromatography (IMAC) allowed us to conclude that NorH constitutes a third subunit of the cNor from T. thermophilus, which is involved in denitrification in vivo, likely allowing more efficient electron transport to cNor.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Food Science
- Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology