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Anaerobe. 2006 Oct-Dec;12(5-6):279-82.

Degradation of human hemoglobin by Prevotella intermedia.

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Department of Oral Biology, School of Stomatology, Fourth Military Medical University, 145 West Chang Le Road, Xi'an 710032, PR China.


In this study, the ability of Prevotella intermedia, an obligate anaerobic rod, to degrade human hemoglobin was determined by SDS-PAGE and the degradation was quantified by scanning densitometry. Both bacterial cells and culture supernatants degraded hemoglobin. The hemoglobin degradation by P. intermedia was time-dependent, heat sensitive, pH related and was not influenced by iron restriction. Inhibition studies demonstrated that a cysteine protease might be involved in hemoglobin degradation and this protease might require metal ions for its activity and it might be thiol-requiring and trypsin-inducible. The results indicate that P. intermedia is capable to release heme from hemoglobin, hence provide a source of iron for its proliferation.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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