Clostridial ferredoxin and pyruvate-ferredoxin oxidoreductase activity was investigated after in vitro or in vivo treatment with sodium nitrite. In vitro treatment of commercially available Clostridium pasteurianum ferredoxin with sodium nitrite inhibited ferredoxin activity. Inhibition of ferredoxin activity increased with increasing levels of sodium nitrite. Ferredoxin was isolated from normal C. pasteurianum and Clostridium botulinum cultures and from cultures incubated with 1,000 micrograms of sodium nitrite per ml for 45 min. The activity of in vivo nitrite-treated ferredoxin was decreased compared with that of control ferredoxin. Pyruvate-ferredoxin oxidoreductase isolated from C. botulinum cultures incubated with 1,000 micrograms of sodium nitrite per ml showed less activity than did control oxidoreductase. It is concluded that the antibotulinal activity of nitrite is due at least in part to inactivation of ferredoxin and pyruvate-ferredoxin oxidoreductase
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