• Cytochrome c;
  • Escherichia coli;
  • TMAO reduction;
  • Nitrite reduction by formate

Abstract Five different c-type cytochromes have been detected during anaerobic growth of various Escherichia coli strains in different media. None of these cytochromes was detectable in aerobically-grown cultures. Only a single, 43 kDa cytochrome was synthesized in response to the presence of trimethylamine-N-oxide: synthesis of this cytochrome was unaffected by the presence of nitrate or nitrite, was repressed by oxygen, but was dependent upon a funtional tor operon located at minute 22 (coordinate 1070 kb) on the E. coli chromosome. The other four cytochromes, masses 16, 18, 24 and 50 kDa, were induced by nitrite coordinately with formate-dependent nitrite reductase activity, but repressed by oxygen and nitrate. As only the 18 kDa and 50 kDa cytochromes are encoded by the nrf operon located at minute 92 (coordinate 4366 kb), there must be other loci, possibly essential for formate-dependent nitrite reduction, encoding the 16 kDa and 24 kDa cytochromes. No other c-type cytochrome was detected under any growth condition tested.