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Extracellular respiration

Gralnick, Jeffrey A. and Newman, Dianne K. (2007) Extracellular respiration. Molecular Microbiology, 65 (1). pp. 1-11. ISSN 0950-382X. PMCID PMC2804852. doi:10.1111/j.1365-2958.2007.05778.x.

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Although it has long been known that microbes can generate energy using diverse strategies, only recently has it become clear that a growing number involve electron transfer to or from extracellular substrates. The best-known example of what we will term ‘extracellular respiration’ is electron transfer between microbes and minerals, such as iron and manganese (hydr)oxides. This makes sense, given that these minerals are sparingly soluble. What is perhaps surprising, however, is that a number of substrates that might typically be classified as ‘soluble’ are also respired at the cell surface. There are several reasons why this might be the case: the substrate, in its ecological context, might be associated with a solid surface and thus effectively insoluble; the substrate, while soluble, might simply be too large to transport inside the cell; or the substrate, while benign in one redox state, might become toxic after it is metabolized. In this review, we discuss various examples of extracellular respiration, paying particular attention to what is known about the molecular mechanisms underlying these processes. As will become clear, much remains to be learned about the biochemistry, cell biology and regulation of extracellular respiration, making it a rich field of study for molecular microbiologists.

Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription DOIArticle CentralArticle
Gralnick, Jeffrey A.0000-0001-9250-7770
Newman, Dianne K.0000-0003-1647-1918
Additional Information:© 2007 The Authors. Journal compilation © 2007 Blackwell Publishing Ltd. Accepted 5 May, 2007. Article first published online: 16 Jun. 2007. We would like to thank Doug Lies and Lars Dietrich for stimulating discussions, and Ken Nealson for comments on the manuscript. D.K.N. is an Investigator of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. We are grateful to the ONR, Luce Foundation and Packard Foundation for supporting our work on extracellular respiration over the years.
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI)UNSPECIFIED
Office of Naval Research (ONR)UNSPECIFIED
Henry Luce FoundationUNSPECIFIED
David and Lucile Packard FoundationUNSPECIFIED
Issue or Number:1
PubMed Central ID:PMC2804852
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20130312-102942670
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Official Citation:Gralnick, J. A. and Newman, D. K. (2007), Extracellular respiration. Molecular Microbiology, 65: 1–11. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2958.2007.05778.x
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:37464
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:12 Mar 2013 17:37
Last Modified:09 Nov 2021 23:29

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