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FEMS Microbiol Lett. 2002 Nov 5;216(2):277-83.

Characterisation of the katA gene encoding a catalase and evidence for at least a second catalase activity in Staphylococcus xylosus, bacteria used in food fermentation.

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SRV Microbiologie, INRA, Centre de Clermont-Theix, F-63122, Saint-Genès Champanelle, France.


The catalase gene katA of Staphylococcus xylosus was cloned. It encodes a protein of 494 amino acids with a molecular mass of 56.9 kDa, closely related to monofunctional catalases. A katA mutant still showed a relatively high catalase activity demonstrating that S. xylosus possesses more than one enzyme. By Southern blot analysis using a katA probe, a second genetic locus distinct from katA was detected that probably contained the additional catalase gene. To analyse katA expression, a transcriptional fusion of the katA promoter region to a promoterless beta-galactosidase gene was integrated into the genome of S. xylosus. katA expression is induced upon entry into stationary phase, by oxygen and hydrogen peroxide. Iron and manganese depletion induced katA transcription. Comparing the resistance of S. xylosus wild-type and the katA mutant strain to hydrogen peroxide clearly showed that KatA is essential for S. xylosus to cope with hydrogen peroxide stress. Therefore, S. xylosus has at least two differentially expressed catalases.

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