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J Biol Chem. 2012 Dec 7;287(50):42243-58. doi: 10.1074/jbc.M112.392787. Epub 2012 Oct 18.

The role of heme binding by DNA-protective protein from starved cells (Dps) in the Tolerance of Porphyromonas gingivalis to heme toxicity.

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University of Sydney, New South Wales 2006, Australia.


The widely expressed DNA-protective protein from starved-cells (Dps) family proteins are considered major contributors to prokaryotic resistance to stress. We show here that Porphyromonas gingivalis Dps (PgDps), previously described as an iron-storage and DNA-binding protein, also mediates heme sequestration. We determined that heme binds strongly to PgDps with an apparent K(d) of 3.7 × 10(-8) m and is coordinated by a single surface-located cysteine at the fifth axial ligand position. Heme and iron sequestered in separate sites by PgDps provide protection of DNA from H(2)O(2)-mediated free radical damage and were found to be important for growth of P. gingivalis under excess heme as the only iron source. Conservation of the heme-coordinating cysteine among Dps isoforms from the Bacteroidales order suggests that this function may be a common feature within these anaerobic bacteria.

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