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The microbial metabolism of oxochlorates is part of the biogeochemical cycle of chlorine. Organisms capable of growth using perchlorate or chlorate as respiratory electron acceptors are also interesting for applications in biotreatment of oxochlorate-containing effluents or bioremediation of contaminated areas. In this review, we discuss the reactions of oxochlorate respiration, the corresponding enzymes, and the relation to respiratory electron transport that can contribute to a proton gradient across the cell membrane. Enzymes specific for oxochlorate respiration are oxochlorate reductases and chlorite dismutase. The former belong to DMSO reductase family of molybdenum-containing enzymes. The heme protein chlorite dismutase, which decomposes chlorite into chloride and molecular oxygen, is only distantly related to other proteins with known functions. Pathways for electron transport may be different in perchlorate and chlorate reducers, but appear in both cases to be similar to pathways found in other respiratory systems. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled: Evolutionary aspects bioenergetic systems. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.


Thomas Nilsson, Maria Rova, Anna Smedja Bäcklund. Microbial metabolism of oxochlorates: a bioenergetic perspective. Biochimica et biophysica acta. 2013 Feb;1827(2):189-97

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PMID: 22735192

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