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Arch Microbiol. 2000 Sep;174(3):213-6.

Protection of Methanosarcina barkeri against oxidative stress: identification and characterization of an iron superoxide dismutase.

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Max-Planck-Institut für terrestrische Mikrobiologie and Laboratorium für Mikrobiologie des Fachbereichs Biologie der Philipps-Universität, Marburg, Germany.


Methanosarcina barkeri is a methanogenic archaeon that can only grow under strictly anoxic conditions but which can survive oxidative stress. We have recently reported that the organism contains a monofunctional catalase. We describe here that it also possesses an active iron superoxide dismutase. The enzyme was purified in three steps over 130-fold in a 14% yield to a specific activity of 1500 U/mg. SDS-PAGE revealed the presence of only one band, at an apparent molecular mass of 25 kDa. The primary structure determined from the cloned and sequenced gene revealed similarity to iron- and manganese superoxide dismutases. The highest similarity was to the iron superoxide dismutase from Methanobacterium thermoautotrophicum. The enzyme from M. barkeri was found to contain, per mol, 1 mol iron, but no manganese in agreement with the general observation that anaerobically growing organisms only contain iron superoxide dismutase. The enzyme was not inhibited by cyanide (10 mM), which is a property shared by all iron- and manganese superoxide dismutases. The presence of superoxide dismutase in M. barkeri is noteworthy since a gene encoding superoxide dismutase (sod) has not been found in Archaeoglobus fulgidus, a sulfate-reducing archaeon most closely related to the Methanosarcinaceae.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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