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FEMS Microbiol Rev. 1994 Aug;14(4):315-23.

Roles of manganese and iron in the regulation of the biosynthesis of manganese-superoxide dismutase in Escherichia coli.

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Department of Microbiology, North Carolina State University, Raleigh 27695-7615.


Aerobic life-style offers both benefits and risks to living cells. The major risk comes from the formation of reactive oxygen intermediates (i.e. superoxide radical, O2-; hydrogen peroxide, H2O2; and hydroxyl radical, OH.) during normal oxygen metabolism. However, living cells are able to cope with oxygen toxicity by virtue of a unique set of antioxidant enzymes that scavenge O2- and H2O2, and prevent the formation OH.. Superoxide dismutases (SODs; EC are metalloenzymes essential for aerobic survival. Escherichia coli contains two forms of this enzyme: an iron-containing enzyme (FeSOD) and a manganese-containing enzyme (MnSOD). In E. coli, MnSOD biosynthesis is under rigorous control. The enzyme is induced in response to a variety of environmental stress conditions including exposure to oxygen, redox cycling compounds such as paraquat which exacerbate the level of intracellular superoxide radicals, iron chelation (i.e. iron deprivation), and oxidants. A model for the regulation of the MnSOD has been proposed in which the MnSOD gene (sodA) is negatively regulated at the level of transcription by an iron-containing redox-sensitive repressor protein. The effect of iron-chelation most probably results in removal of the iron necessary for repressor activity. Recent studies have shown that sodA expression is regulated by three iron-dependent regulatory proteins, Fur (ferric uptake regulation), Fnr (fumarate nitrate regulation) and SoxR (superoxide regulon), and by the ArcA/ArcB (aerobic respiration control) system. The potential Fur-, Fnr- and ArcA-binding sites in the sodA promoter region have been identified by using different cis-acting regulatory mutations that caused anaerobic derepression of the gene.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS).

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