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Microbiology. 2006 Jun;152(Pt 6):1671-7.

The catalase and superoxide dismutase genes are transcriptionally up-regulated upon oxidative stress in the strictly anaerobic archaeon Methanosarcina barkeri.

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  • 1Department of Microbiology, Biological Faculty, Lomonosov Moscow State University, Vorob'evy Hills 1/12, 119992 Moscow, Russia.


Methanosarcina barkeri is a strictly anaerobic methanogenic archaeon, which can survive oxidative stress. The oxidative stress agent paraquat (PQ) suppressed growth of M. barkeri at concentrations of 50-200 microM. Hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) inhibited growth at concentrations of 0.4-1.6 mM. Catalase activity in cell-free extracts of M. barkeri increased about threefold during H2O2 stress (1.3 mM H2O2, 2-4 h exposure) and nearly twofold during superoxide stress (160 microM PQ, 2 h exposure). PQ (160 microM, 2-4 h exposure) and H2O2 (1.3 mM, 2 h exposure) also influenced superoxide dismutase activity in cell-free extracts of M. barkeri. Dot-blot analysis was performed on total RNA isolated from H2O2- and PQ-exposed cultures, using labelled internal DNA fragments of the sod and kat genes. It was shown that H2O2 but not PQ strongly induced up-regulation of the kat gene. PQ and to a lesser degree H2O2 induced the expression of superoxide dismutase. The results indicate the regulation of the adaptive response of M. barkeri to different oxidative stresses.

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