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So I was browsing the detoxification metabolistic mechanisms for E. coli, and came across an arsenic detoxification mechanism that converted arsenate to arsenite using a glutaredoxin. So my question is, how does the toxicity of arsenate compare to arsenite? And what is the use of this pathway in E. coli?

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  • $\begingroup$ that's weird because I found a source that says arsenite is more toxic than arsenate. (ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3183630/ see introduction). That might be for humans though. $\endgroup$ – SCH Sep 21 '17 at 15:14
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    $\begingroup$ @S.Chevalier I think that it can go both ways, but your point is interesting $\endgroup$ – JSCoder says Reinstate Monica Sep 21 '17 at 16:55
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I see now.

According to the same website with the reaction mechanism,

Although the arsenite formed is more toxic than arsenate , it can be extruded from some bacteria by EC 3.6.3.16 , arsenite-transporting ATPase; in other organisms, arsenite can be methylated by EC 2.1.1.137 , arsenite methyltransferase, in a pathway that produces non-toxic organoarsenical compounds. cf EC 1.20.4.4, arsenate reductase (thioredoxin) .

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