Sci. STKE, 30 November 2004
MICROBIOLOGY A Bacterial Nose for NO
Nitric oxide is an important signaling molecule in mammals, where it acts in part when sensed by a heme protein, soluble guanylate cyclase. Nioche et al. searched for ancestral proteins with related NO-binding heme domains in the bacterium Clostridium botulinum. NO is toxic to C. botulinum, and the bacterium actively moves away from nitrite-preserved meat. The authors identified a bacterial protein with an extreme (femtomolar) binding affinity for NO and elucidated the crystal structure of a related molecule from Thermoaneaerobacter tencongensis. NO-binding domains thus provide prokaryotes with a highly sensitive sensor for NO.
Citation: A Bacterial Nose for NO. Sci. STKE 2004, tw435 (2004).
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