Author(s): Rafii F, Cerniglia CE, Rafii F, Cerniglia CE
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Abstract Several anaerobic bacteria from the human intestinal tract are capable of reducing azo dyes and nitropolycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons to the corresponding aromatic amines with enzymes that have azoreductase and nitroreductase activities. The majority of bacteria with these activities belong to the genera Clostridium and Eubacterium. The azoreductases and nitroreductases from three Clostridium strains and one Eubacterium strain were studied. Both enzymes were produced constitutively in each of the bacteria; the enzymes from various bacteria had different electrophoretic mobilities. The azoreductases from all of the bacteria had immunological homology, as was evident from the cross-reactivity of an antibody raised against the azoreductase of C. perfringens with azoreductases from other bacteria. Comparison of azoreductases and nitroreductases showed that they both had identical electrophoretic mobilities on polyacrylamide gels and reacted with the antibody against the azoreductase from C. perfringens. Furthermore, the nitroaromatic compounds competitively inhibited the azoreductase activity. The data indicate that the reduction of both nitroaromatic compounds and azo dyes may be carried out by the same enzyme, which is possibly a flavin adenine dinucleotide dehydrogenase that is synthesized throughout the cell and not associated with any organized subcellular structure.
This article was published in Environ Health Perspect
and referenced in Journal of Developing Drugs