The role of the flavodiiron proteins in microbial nitric oxide detoxification

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76 Citations (Scopus)


The flavodiiron proteins (first named as A-type flavoproteins) constitute a large superfamily of enzymes, widespread among anaerobic and facultative anaerobic prokaryotes, from both the Archaea and Bacteria domains. Noticeably, genes encoding for homologous enzymes are also present in the genomes of some pathogenic and anaerobic amitochondriate protozoa. The fingerprint of this enzyme family is the conservation of a two-domain structural core, built by a metallo-β-lactamase-like domain, at the N-terminal region, harbouring a non-heme diiron site, and a flavodoxin-like domain, containing one FMN moiety. These enzymes have a significant nitric oxide reductase activity, and there is increasing evidence that they are involved in microbial resistance to nitric oxide. In this review, we will discuss available data for this novel family of enzymes, including their physicochemical properties, structural and phylogenetic analyses, enzymatic properties and the molecular genetic approaches so far used to tackle their function.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)77-129
Number of pages53
JournalAdvances in Microbial Physiology
Publication statusPublished - 9 Nov 2004


  • nitric oxide reductase
  • bacterial enzyme
  • flavodoxin
  • flavoprotein
  • heme derivative
  • microbial enzyme
  • nitric oxide


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