Reactions that generate oxygen molecules are exceedingly rare in biology and difficult to mimic synthetically. Perchlorate - respiring bacteria enzymatically detoxify chlorite, ClO− 2, the end product of the perchlorate, ClO− 4 respiratory pathway, by converting it to dioxygen, O2 and chloride, Cl−. Chlorite dismutase is a heme-containing protein, but it bears no structural or sequence relationships with known peroxidases or other heme proteins and is part of a large family of proteins with more than one biochemical function.
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