Function of Bacterial
The crystal structure of the membrane-integrated nitric oxide reductase cNOR from Pseudomonas aeruginosa was determined. The smaller NorC subunit of cNOR is comprised of 1 trans-membrane helix and a hydrophilic domain, where the heme is located, while the larger NorB subunit consists of 12 trans-membrane helices, which contain heme b and the catalytically active binuclear center (heme b3 and non-heme FeB). The roles of the 5 well-conserved glutamates in NOR are discussed, based on the recently solved structure. Glu211 and Glu280 appear to play an important role in the catalytic reduction of NO at the binuclear center by functioning as a terminal proton donor, while Glu215 probably contributes to the electro-negative environment of the catalytic center. Glu135, a ligand for Ca2+ sandwiched between two heme propionates from heme b and b3, and the nearby Glu138 appears to function as a structural factor in maintaining a protein conformation that is suitable for electron-coupled proton transfer from the periplasmic region to the active site. On the basis of these observations, the possible molecular mechanism for the reduction of NO by cNOR is discussed. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled: Respiratory Oxidases.