Date: August 1992
Creator: Nagappan, Olagappan
Description: Pseudomonas fluorescens NCIMB 11764 was capable of utilizing cyanide as a sole nitrogen source for growth. Cyanate (OCN") and S-cyanoalanine could also serve as nitrogenous substrates, but do not appear to play a role as intermediates in cyanide metabolism. Growth of this strain on cyanate as the sole nitrogen source led to the induction of an enzyme characterized as a cyanase (EC 188.8.131.52) based on its stoichiometric conversion of cyanate to ammonia, and dependence on bicarbonate for maximal activity. However, since cyanase activity was not elevated in cyanide-grown cells it was concluded that it serves no role in cyanide metabolism. Related studies aimed at examining a possible role for S-cyanoalanine as a cyanide-assimilation intermediate showed that while this compound also serves as a nitrogen source, it also is not important in cyanide metabolism. Studies focused on the utilization of free cyanide as a growth substrate led to the development of a fed-batch cultivation procedure greatly facilitating further experimentation aimed at the identification of cyanide metabolites. In addition to CO_2 and NH_3 as described earlier, two additional metabolites including formamide and formate were detected by using nC-NMR, HPLC, radioisotrapping methods and other analytical means. The formation of metabolites was shown to ...
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