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Title: Nitroreductases of bacterial origin in Giardia lamblia : Potential role in detoxification of xenobiotics

The anaerobic parasiteGiardia lamblia, causative agent of persistent diarrhea, contains a family of nitroreductase genes most likely acquired by lateral transfer from anaerobic bacteria or archaebacteria. Two of these nitroreductases, containing a ferredoxin domain at their N‐terminus, NR1, and NR2, have been characterized previously. Here, we present the characterization of a third member of this family, NR3. In functional assays, recombinant NR1 and NR3 reduced quinones like menadione and the antibiotic tetracycline, and—to much lesser extents—the nitro compound dinitrotoluene. Conversely, recombinant NR2 had no activity on tetracycline.Escherichia coliexpressing NR3 were less susceptible to tetracycline, but more susceptible to the nitro compound metronidazole under semi‐aerobic growth conditions.G. lambliaoverexpressing NR1 and NR3, but not lines overexpressing NR2, are more susceptible to the nitro drug nitazoxanide. These findings suggest that NR3 is an active quinone reductase with a mode of action similar to NR1, but different from NR2. The biological function of this family of enzymes may reside in the use of xenobiotics as final electron acceptors. Thereby, these enzymes may provide at least two evolutionary advantages namely a higher potential to recycle NAD(P) as electron acceptors for the (fermentative) energy and intermediary metabolism, and the possibility to inactivate toxic xenobiotics produced by microorganisms living in concurrence inside the intestinal habitat.

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Publisher / Repository:
Wiley Blackwell (John Wiley & Sons)
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Medium: X
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
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