2018 Volume 33 Issue 4 Pages 428-434
Aerobic ammonia-oxidizing archaea (AOA) play a crucial role in the global nitrogen cycle by oxidizing ammonia to nitrite, and nitric oxide (NO) is a key intermediate in AOA for sustaining aerobic ammonia oxidation activity. We herein heterologously expressed the NO-forming, copper-containing, dissimilatory nitrite reductase (NirK) from Nitrososphaera viennensis and investigated its enzymatic properties. The recombinant protein catalyzed the reduction of 15NO2− to 15NO, the oxidation of hydroxylamine (15NH2OH) to 15NO, and the production of 14–15N2O from 15NH2OH and 14NO2−. To the best of our knowledge, the present study is the first to document the enzymatic properties of AOA NirK.