Hydrogen Oxidation by Alcaligenes
Detailed molecular studies of hydrogen metabolism have progressed rapidly thanks to the development of genetic systems, which are now available for selected proteobacteria, including species of lithoautotrophs, nitrogen-fixing and photosynthetic microorganisms (reviewed by Friedrich, Schwartz 1993 and Vignais, Toussaint 1994). These facultative hydrogen-oxidizers are abundant in soil and water. Adaptation to shortage of nutrients may explain the great metabolic versatility of these organisms. The ability to utilize a wide range of organic and inorganic substrates and to adjust rapidly to changing environmental conditions demands a rather flexible, balanced metabolic regulation. This article focuses on the hydrogen-oxidizing enzyme system of Alcaligenes eutrophus, the prototype of the so-called hydrogen (knallgas) bacteria, presenting our current knowledge of the arrangement, structure and function of genes involved in the biosynthesis of two nickel-iron-containing hydrogenases and summarizing the mechanisms that regulate hydrogenase expression.
KeywordsHydrogen Oxidation Hydrogenase Gene Diaphorase Activity Histidine Protein Kinase Methanococcus Voltae
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