1887

Abstract

, the causative agent of anthrax, is exposed to host-mediated antibacterial activities, such as reactive oxygen species (ROS), during the early stages of its disease process. The ability to resist these host-mediated stresses is an essential characteristic of a successful pathogen while it is generally assumed that non-pathogenic environmental bacteria succumb to these antimicrobial activities. In order to gain insights into the underlying mechanisms that pathogens use to resist host-mediated oxidative stress, we have compared the oxidative stress responses of and , a well-studied environmental bacterium. Among the four putative catalases encoded by we identified KatB as the main vegetative catalase. Comparative analysis of catalase production in and in response to superoxide and peroxide stress reveals different expression profiles, even though both are regulated by the PerR repressor, which senses and responds to peroxide stress. A deletion mutant exhibits enhanced KatB activity and is hyper-resistant to peroxide stress. Superoxide dismutase A1 (SodA1) is the main contributor to the intracellular superoxide dismutase activity in vegetative cells and the gene encoding this enzyme is constitutively expressed. Although aspects of the ROS detoxifying systems of and are similar, their responses to superoxide stress are different. The observed differences are likely to reflect adaptations to specific environmental niches.

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2012-03-01
2019-10-19
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