The Reduction of Sulfate and the Oxidation of Sulfide

  • Ryan J. Huxtable
Part of the Biochemistry of the Elements book series (BOTE, volume 6)


The sulfhydryl-containing amino acids, Met and Cys, are needed by all life forms for protein synthesis and a myriad other tasks. Under the oxidizing conditions found over most of this planet, sulfur is present in the geosphere in the form of sulfate. Reduction of sulfate is expensive, requiring approximately 840 kJ·mol−1. The inability of multicellular animals to reduce sulfate to sulfide is part of a general lack of reductive capability. Such organisms are also unable to reduce nitrate to ammonia (142 kJ·mol−1) and carbon dioxide to carbohydrate (460 kJ·mol−1). The animal kingdom must rely on the plant and bacterial kingdoms for provision of the reduced forms of these elements.


Neurospora Crassa Enteric Bacterium Sulfur Cycle Sulfite Reductase Methionine Biosynthesis 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1986

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ryan J. Huxtable
    • 1
  1. 1.University of Arizona Health Sciences CenterTucsonUSA

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