Nitrite reduction by molybdoenzymes: A new class of nitric oxide-forming nitrite reductases

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Nitric oxide (NO) is a signalling molecule involved in several physiological processes, in both prokaryotes and eukaryotes, and nitrite is being recognised as an NO source particularly relevant to cell signalling and survival under challenging conditions. The "non-respiratory" nitrite reduction to NO is carried out by "non-dedicated" nitrite reductases, making use of metalloproteins present in cells to carry out other functions, such as several molybdoenzymes (a new class of nitric oxide-forming nitrite reductases). This minireview will highlight the physiological relevance of molybdenum-dependent nitrite-derived NO formation in mammalian, plant and bacterial signalling (and other) pathways. The mammalian xanthine oxidase/xanthine dehydrogenase, aldehyde oxidase, mitochondrial amidoxime-reducing component, plant nitrate reductase and bacterial aldehyde oxidoreductase and nitrate reductases will be considered. The nitrite reductase activity of each molybdoenzyme will be described and the review will be oriented to discuss the feasibility of the reactions from a (bio)chemical point of view. In addition, the molecular mechanism proposed for the molybdenum-dependent nitrite reduction will be discussed in detail. © 2015 SBIC.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)403-433
Number of pages31
JournalJBIC Journal of Biological Inorganic Chemistry
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2015
Event2013 Molybdenum and Tungsten Enzymes Conference - Sintra, Portugal
Duration: 16 Jul 201319 Jul 2013


  • Cell signalling
  • Molybdenum
  • Moonlighting
  • Nitric oxide
  • Nitrite reduction


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