Osmium Reduction Pathway Map

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This pathway was contributed by Tony Dodge and completed by Sean Anderson, University of Minnesota.

Osmium tetroxide is commonly used as a fixative to prepare biological specimens for electron microscopy. More information on Osmium is found in the Os entry in the EAWAG-BBD Biochemical Periodic Table. Woolfolk and Whiteley (1962) reported that extracts of Micrococcus lactilyticus (now Veillonella atypica) reduced Osmium tetroxide to Osmate (OsO4-) and reduced Osmium dioxide and Osmium(III) chloride to Osmium metal. The authors also observed reduction of Osmium tetroxide by extracts of Desulfovibrio desulfuricans.

The following is a text-format Osmium Reduction pathway map. An organism which can initiate the pathway is 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 (4k) format.

         Os(VIII)O4                     Os(IV)O2                      Os(III)Cl3
    Veillonella atypica           Veillonella atypica           Veillonella atypica
Desulfovibrio desulfuricans
             |                             |                             | 
             |                             |                             | 
             | hydrogenase                 | hydrogenase                 | hydrogenase
             |                             |                             | 
             |                             |                             | 
             v                             v                             v 
         Os(VII)O4-                       Os(O)                         Os(O)

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Page Author: Sean Anderson

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