Type ii hydride transferases from different microorganisms yield nitrite and diarylamines from polynitroaromatic compounds

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Homogenous preparations of XenB of Pseudomonas putida, pentaerythritol tetranitrate reductase of Enterobacter cloacae, and N-ethylmaleimide reductase of Escherichia coli, all type II hydride transferases of the Old Yellow Enzyme family of flavoproteins, are shown to reduce the polynitroaromatic compound 2,4,6-trinitrotoluene (TNT). The reduction of this compound yields hydroxylaminodinitrotoluenes and Meisenheimer dihydride complexes, which, upon condensation, yield stoichiometric amounts of nitrite and diarylamines, implying that type II hydride transferases are responsible for TNT denitration, a process with important environmental implications for TNT remediation.

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