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J Ind Microbiol. 1995 Mar-Apr;14(3-4):252-8.

Interaction of lead nitrate and cadmium chloride with Escherichia coli K-12 and Salmonella typhimurium global regulatory mutants.

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DuPont Company, Environmental Biotechnology Program, Wilmington, DE 19880-0173, USA.


To investigate the interactions of heavy metals with cells, a minimal medium for the growth of enteric bacteria using glycerol-2-phosphate as the sole phosphorus source was developed that avoided precipitation of Pb2+ with inorganic phosphate. Using this medium, spontaneous mutants of Escherichia coli resistant to addition of Pb(NO3)2 were isolated. Thirty-five independent mutants all conferred a low level of resistance. Disk diffusion assays on solid medium were used to survey the response of E. coli and Salmonella typhimurium mutants altered in global regulatory networks to Pb(NO3)2 and CdCl2. Strains bearing mutations in oxyR and rpoH were the most hypersensitive to these compounds. Based upon the response of strains completely devoid of isozymes needed to inactivate reactive oxygen species, this hypersensitivity to lead and cadmium is attributable to alteration in superoxide dismutase rather than catalase levels. Similar analysis of chaperone-defective mutants suggests that these metals damage proteins in vivo.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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