Jun 1, 1991

NarK enhances nitrate uptake and nitrite excretion in Escherichia coli

Journal of Bacteriology
J A Demoss, P Y Hsu


narK mutants of Escherichia coli produce wild-type levels of nitrate reductase but, unlike the wild-type strain, do not accumulate nitrite when grown anaerobically on a glucose-nitrate medium. Comparison of the rates of nitrate and nitrite metabolism in cultures growing anaerobically on glucose-nitrate medium revealed that a narK mutant reduced nitrate at a rate only slightly slower than that in the NarK+ parental strain. Although the specific activities of nitrate reductase and nitrite reductase were similar in the two strains, the parental strain accumulated nitrite in the medium in almost stoichiometric amounts before it was further reduced, while the narK mutant did not accumulate nitrite in the medium but apparently reduced it as rapidly as it was formed. Under conditions in which nitrite reductase was not produced, the narK mutant excreted the nitrite formed from nitrate into the medium; however, the rate of reduction of nitrate to nitrite was significantly slower than that of the parental strain or that which occurred when nitrite reductase was present. These results demonstrate that E. coli is capable of taking up nitrate and excreting nitrite in the absence of a functional NarK protein; however, in growing cells, a fun...Continue Reading

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Mentioned in this Paper

Metabolic Process, Cellular
Sodium Dithionite
Alkalescens-Dispar Group
Formic Acids
Nitrates and nitrites
Nitrite Reductase
Cell Respiration

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