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Mol Microbiol. 1993 Nov;10(4):839-48.

Molecular and genetic characterization of superoxide dismutase in Haemophilus influenzae type b.

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Department of Paediatrics, Institute of Molecular Medicine, John Radcliffe Hospital, Oxford, UK.


Oxygen free radicals present a serious potential threat to microbial survival, through their ability to inflict indiscriminate damage on proteins and DNA. Superoxide dismutase (SOD, EC, among other oxygen-metabolizing enzymes, is essential to prevent these toxic molecules from accumulating in the bacterial cytosol during aerobic metabolism. The gene sodA, encoding manganese-containing SOD ([Mn]-SOD), has been cloned from a virulent strain of Haemophilus influenzae type b using degenerate oligonucleotides encoding regions of the gene conserved across different bacterial species. The gene product has been identified as [MN]-SOD by its similarity at key amino acid residues to known examples of the enzyme, by expression of enzymatically active protein from cloned DNA expressed in Escherichia coli, and by demonstration that an in-frame deletion in the gene abolishes this activity. In contrast to the situation in E. coli, this [Mn]-SOD is the only active SOD detected in H. influenzae. In further contrast to E. coli, [Mn]-SOD gene expression in H. influenzae has been found to be only partially repressed under anaerobic conditions. When expressed in E. coli the gene is regulated by Fur and Fnr, and the promoter region, identified experimentally, has been found to contain nucleotide sequence motifs similar to the Fur- and Fnr-binding sequences of E. coli, suggesting the involvement of analogues of these aerobiosis-responsive activators in H. influenzae gene expression.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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