Mercury resistance in bacteria, animation. A number of bacteria are able to reduce the reactive ionic form of mercury (Hg2+) to its relatively inert elemental form (Hg0). Ionic mercury is bound by the protein MerP and transferred to the transmembrane protein MerT, which transports it into the cell interior. In the cell cytoplasm the enzyme mercuric reductase (MerA) transfers two electrons from ionic mercury to NADPH, forming elemental mercury, which is released from the cell into the atmosphere.
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