Apr 10, 2018

Exploring the alternatives of biological nitrogen fixation

Metallomics : Integrated Biometal Science
Florence MusJ W Peters


Most biological nitrogen fixation (BNF) results from the activity of the molybdenum nitrogenase (Mo-nitrogenase, Nif), an oxygen-sensitive metalloenzyme complex found in all known diazotrophs. Two alternative forms of nitrogenase, the vanadium nitrogenase (V-nitrogenase, Vnf) and the iron-only nitrogenase (Fe-only nitrogenase, Anf) have also been identified in the genome of some organisms that encode for Nif. It has been suggested that alternative nitrogenases were responsible for N2-fixation on early Earth because oceans were depleted of bioavailable Mo. Results of recent phylogenetic- and structure-based studies suggest, however, that such an evolutionary path is unlikely, and favor a new model for a stepwise evolution of nitrogenase where the V-nitrogenase and the Fe-only nitrogenase are not the ancestor of the Mo-nitrogenase. Rather, Mo-nitrogenase emerged within the methanogenic archaea and then gave rise to the alternative forms suggesting they arose later in response to the availability of fixed N2 and local environmental factors that influenced metal availability. This review summarizes the current state of knowledge on (1) the biochemistry of these complex systems highlighting the common and specific structural feature...Continue Reading

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Mentioned in this Paper

Pathological Fracture
Nitrogen Fixation
Enzymes, antithrombotic
Transcription factor B, Archaea
Sample Fixation
Phylogenetic Analysis

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