Mechanisms of Cyanide Assimilation in Pseudomonas fluorescens NCIMB 11764

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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 3.5.5.3) 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. ... continued below

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vi, 101 leaves : ill.

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Nagappan, Olagappan August 1992.

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  • Nagappan, Olagappan

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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 3.5.5.3) 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 be induced after growth on cyanide with the relative product yields dependent on the availability of oxygen. These findings support earlier work in which an oxygen-dependent mechanism was proposed for the formation of C02 and NH3. However, at least two additional oxygen-independent pathways of cyanide conversion can be elaborated by this organism. One of these involves conversion to formate and ammonia while the other leads to the formation of formamide, which is not further degraded. Thus, growth on cyanide appears to occur by several mechanisms of chemical transformation presumably serving both detoxification and nutritional roles. Since two of these mechanisms generate ammonia, which is readily assimilated, growth is presumed to proceed via ammonia as a provisionary nitrogenous substrate.

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vi, 101 leaves : ill.

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  • August 1992

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  • March 24, 2014, 8:07 p.m.

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Nagappan, Olagappan. Mechanisms of Cyanide Assimilation in Pseudomonas fluorescens NCIMB 11764, dissertation, August 1992; Denton, Texas. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc278533/: accessed September 22, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; .