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FEMS Microbiol Lett. 2001 Feb 20;195(2):175-7.

Regulatory locus soxRS partially protects Escherichia coli against ozone.

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Fundación LUSARA, P.O. Box 102-006, 08930 Mexico, D.F., Mexico.


Ozone is one of the major city air pollutants. Since it is known to induce the overexpression of superoxide-dismutase in various models, and is also a powerful oxidant, we tested if ozone can induce the expression of the soxRS regulon of Escherichia coli, which is activated by superoxide and nitric oxide. A sub-lethal exposure to ozone was unable to activate the expression of soxS'::lacZ transcriptional fusions. However, cells lacking the soxRS locus were more susceptible than wild-type to ozone-mediated killing. Constitutive expression of the soxRS regulon did not increase the resistance to ozone. Ozone might be exerting a selective pressure upon oxidative-stress defense mechanisms in airborne bacteria.

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