The pentahaem enzyme cytochrome c nitrite reductase catalyses the reduction of nitrite to ammonia, a key reaction in the biological nitrogen cycle. The enzyme can also transform nitrogen monoxide and hydroxylamine, two potential bound reaction intermediates, into ammonia. Structural and mechanistic aspects of the multihaem enzyme are discussed in comparison with hydroxylamine oxidoreductase, a trimeric protein with eight haem molecules per subunit.

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