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Nitrous Oxide Reductase

  1. Robert R Eady,
  2. Svetlana V Antonyuk,
  3. S Samar Hasnain

Published Online: 15 DEC 2011

DOI: 10.1002/9781119951438.eibc0632

Encyclopedia of Inorganic and Bioinorganic Chemistry

Encyclopedia of Inorganic and Bioinorganic Chemistry

How to Cite

Eady, R. R., Antonyuk, S. V. and Hasnain, S. S. 2011. Nitrous Oxide Reductase. Encyclopedia of Inorganic and Bioinorganic Chemistry. .

Author Information

  1. Molecular Biophysics Group, Daresbury Laboratory, Warrington, Cheshire, UK

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 15 DEC 2011


(N2O) is a major greenhouse gas and is thought to be some 300 times more potent than CO2 in promoting global warming due to its inert chemical nature. The difficult chemistry of N2O reduction to gaseous nitrogen (N2) in biology is catalyzed by the novel µ4-sulfide-bridged tetranuclear Cuz cluster of the N2O reductases (N2ORs). These enzymes, in common with cytochrome c oxidase (CCO), also contain an electron-donating CuA site. During the past five years, several structures of this enzyme, from a number of species, have emerged, providing the details of structural elements responsible for this fascinating chemistry. These aspects are discussed in the light of extensive spectroscopic and functional data, providing an up-to-date review from these perspectives.

3D Structure


  • copper cluster;
  • catalysis;
  • electron transfer;
  • mechanism;
  • denitrification;
  • cupredoxin;
  • β-propeller;
  • calcium binding