Flavohemoglobin: Structure and reactivity

Authors

  • Alessandra Bonamore,

    1. Department of Biochemical Sciences, University of Roma ‘La Sapienza’, Piazzale Aldo Moro 5, Roma, Italy
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  • Alberto Boffi

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Biochemical Sciences, University of Roma ‘La Sapienza’, Piazzale Aldo Moro 5, Roma, Italy
    • Department of Biochemical Sciences, University of Roma ‘La Sapienza’, Piazzale Aldo Moro 5, I-00185 Roma, Italy
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    • Fax: +39-06-4440062


Abstract

Flavohemoglobins (flavoHbs) are made of a globin domain fused with a ferredoxin reductaselike FAD- and NAD-binding modules. These proteins are widely represented among bacteria and yeasts and represent a most challenging research subject in view of their high reactivity both as reductases and as oxidases. The functional annotations of flavoHbs are still controversial, and different physiological roles that are linked to cell responses to oxidative and/or nitrosative stress have been proposed. The flavoHb from Escherichia coli (HMP) has been the object of a large number of investigations to unveil its physiological role in the framework of bacterial resistance to nitrosative stress. HMP expression has been demonstrated to respond to the presence of NO in the culture medium, and an explicit mechanism has been proposed that involves NO scavenging and its reduction to N2O under anaerobic conditions. In contrast to (or together with) the anaerobic NO-reductase activity, HMP has also been shown to be able to catalyze the oxidation of NO to NO3 (NO-dioxygenase activity) both in vivo and in vitro in the presence of O2 and NADH. HMP has also been shown to be capable of catalyzing the reduction of several alkylhydroperoxide substrates into their corresponding alcohols using NADH as an electron donor. The alkylhydroperoxide reductase activity taken together with the unique lipid-binding properties of HMP suggests that this flavoHb may be involved in the repair of the lipid membrane oxidative damage generated during oxidative/nitrosative stress. © 2007 IUBMB IUBMB Life, 60(1): 19–28, 2008

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