Hydrogen metabolism is closely related to other important metabolic and energetic processes of bacterial cells, such as photosynthesis, anaerobic respiration and sulphur metabolism. Even small environmental changes influence these networks through different regulatory systems. The presence or absence of oxygen is one of the most important signals; how the cascades evolved to transmit this signal in different bacteria is summarized. In many instances, hydrogen is released only under anoxic conditions, because of bioenergetic considerations. Most [NiFe] hydrogenases are inactivated by oxygen, but many of them can be re-activated under reducing conditions. In addition to direct inactivation of the hydrogenases, oxygen can also regulate their expression. The global regulatory systems [FNR (fumarate and nitrate reduction regulator), ArcAB (aerobic respiratory control) and RegAB], which respond to alterations in oxygen content and redox conditions of the environment, have an important role in hydrogenase regulation of several bacteria. FNR-like proteins were shown to be important for the regulation of hydrogenases in Escherichia coli, Thiocapsa raseapersicina and Rhizabium leguminasorum, whereas RegA protein modulates the expression of hupSL genes in Rhodobacter capsulatus.
- Fumarate and nitrate reduction regulator (FNR)
- Regulation of expression