Nitroglycerin Pathway Map

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This pathway was contributed by Dong Jun Oh, University of Minnesota.

Nitroglycerin (NG) is a well-known nitrate ester and an important component of dynamite and other propellants. NG is toxic to algae, invertebrate, and vertebrates. Nitrosubstituted compounds are widely distributed in the environment because of their use in explosives, dyes, and agricultural chemicals.

Pseudomonas putida II-B and Pseudomonas fluorescens I-C are capable of utilizing nitroglycerin as a sole nitrogen source (Blehert, D., et al., 1997). NG reductase catalyzes the NADPH-dependent denitration of NG. The Pseudomonas NG reductases were shown not to be reactive with mononitrate glycerol esters. Yet, nitroglycerin has been shown to be mineralized under anaerobic conditions (C. Chritodoulatos, S. Bhaumik and B. Brodman, 1997, Anaerobic biodegradation of nitroglycerin. Water Res. 31:1462-1470). Thus, the last step shown below is hypothesized to indicate that bacterial nitroglycerine metabolism enters intermediary metabolism.

The following is a text-format nitroglycerin pathway map. Organisms which can initiate the pathway are given, but other organisms may also carry out later steps. Follow the links for more information on compounds or reactions. This map is also available in graphic (8k) format.

                    Nitroglycerin (NG)
                  Pseudomonas putida II-B 
                Pseudomonas fluorescens I-C
                     |              | 
                     |              | 
          xenobiotic |              | xenobiotic
           reductase |              | reductase
                     |              | 
                     v              v     
     1,2-Dinitroglycerol          1,3-Dinitroglycerol
               |                             |
               +--------------------+        |
    xenobiotic |         xenobiotic |        | xenobiotic
     reductase |          reductase |        | reductase
               |                    |        | 
               v                    v        v 
     2-Mononitroglycerol           1-Mononitroglycerol
               |                             | 
               |                             | 
    xenobiotic |                             | xenobiotic
     reductase |                             | reductase
               |                             | 
               +-------> Glycerol <----------+
                            |
                            |
                            |
                            v
                       Intermediary
                        Metabolism
                          (KEGG)

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Page Author(s): Dong Jun Oh

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