Kinetics of mercuric reduction in intact and permeabilized Escherichia coli cells

George P. Philippidis, Janet L. Schottel, Wei Shou Hu

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16 Scopus citations


The kinetics of mercuric ion (Hg2+) reduction by Escherichia coli was studied with ether-permeabilized and intact cells. Permeabilized cells reduced Hg2+ 5.5 times faster than intact cells. The reduction by intact cells exhibited Michaelis-Menten kinetic behavior with respect to Hg2+ concentration. In contrast, the reduction by permeabilized cells followed substrate inhibition kinetics with respect to Hg2+ concentration and Michaelis-Menten kinetics with respect to NADPH concentration. An expression was adopted to describe the simultaneous dependence of the reduction rate of permeabilized cells on the Hg2+ and NADPH concentrations. Experimental data confirmed the general validity of the rate expression in a wide range of Hg2+ and NADPH concentrations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)854-859
Number of pages6
JournalEnzyme and Microbial Technology
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 1990

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported in part by grants from Eco-lab Inc., St Paul, Minnesota, the National Science Foundation (ECE-8552670), and the Graduate School of the University of Minnesota.


  • Mercuric reduction
  • permeabilization
  • substrate inhibition


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