Regulation of oxidative phosphorylation: the flexible respiratory network of Paracoccus denitrificans

R J Van Spanning, A P de Boer, W N Reijnders, J.-W. de Gier, C O Delorme, A.H. Stouthamer, H V Westerhoff, N Harms, J. van der Oost

Research output: Contribution to JournalReview articleAcademicpeer-review


Paracoccus denitrificans is a facultative anaerobic bacterium that has the capacity to adjust its metabolic infrastructure, quantitatively and/or qualitatively, to the prevailing growth condition. In this bacterium the relative activity of distinct catabolic pathways is subject to a hierarchical control. In the presence of oxygen the aerobic respiration, the most efficient way of electron transfer-linked phosphorylation, has priority. At high oxygen tensions P. denitrificans synthesizes an oxidase with a relatively low affinity for oxygen, whereas under oxygen limitation a high-affinity oxidase appears specifically induced. During anaerobiosis, the pathways with lower free energy-transducing efficiency are induced. In the presence of nitrate, the expression of a number of dehydrogenases ensures the continuation of oxidative phosphorylation via denitrification. After identification of the structural components that are involved in both the aerobic and the anaerobic respiratory networks of P. denitrificans, the intriguing next challenge is to get insight in its regulation. Two transcription regulators have recently been demonstrated to be involved in the expression of a number of aerobic and/or anaerobic respiratory complexes in P. denitrificans. Understanding of the regulation machinery is beginning to emerge and promises much excitement in discovery.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)499-512
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Bioenergetics and Biomembranes
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Oct 1995


  • Aerobiosis
  • Anaerobiosis
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Bacterial
  • Genes, Bacterial
  • Homeostasis
  • Models, Biological
  • Mutagenesis
  • Oxidative Phosphorylation
  • Paracoccus denitrificans
  • Comparative Study
  • Journal Article
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review


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