Emerging Roles of Nitric Oxide Synthase in Bacterial Physiology

Elizabeth H. Hutfless, Sujata S. Chaudhari, Vinai C. Thomas

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

11 Scopus citations


Nitric oxide (NO) is a potent inhibitor of diverse cellular processes in bacteria. Therefore, it was surprising to discover that several bacterial species, primarily Gram-positive organisms, harboured a gene encoding nitric oxide synthase (NOS). Recent attempts to characterize bacterial NOS (bNOS) have resulted in the discovery of structural features that may allow it to function as a NO dioxygenase and produce nitrate in addition to NO. Consistent with this characterization, investigations into the biological function of bNOS have also emphasized a role for NOS-dependent nitrate and nitrite production in aerobic and microaerobic respiration. In this review, we aim to compare, contrast, and summarize the structure, biochemistry, and biological role of bNOS with mammalian NOS and discuss how recent advances in our understanding of bNOS have enabled efforts at designing inhibitors against it.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationNitric Oxide and Other Small Signalling Molecules
EditorsRobert K. Poole
PublisherAcademic Press
Number of pages45
ISBN (Print)9780128144138
StatePublished - Jan 1 2018

Publication series

NameAdvances in Microbial Physiology
ISSN (Print)0065-2911


  • Bacteria
  • NO
  • Nitrate
  • Nitric oxide synthase
  • Nitrite
  • bNOS

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology
  • Physiology


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