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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Catalase and superoxide dismutase in Escherichia coli.

We assessed the roles of intrabacterial catalase and superoxide dismutase in the resistance of Escherichia coli to killing by neutrophils. E. coli in which the synthesis of superoxide dismutase and catalase were induced by paraquat 10-fold and 5-fold, respectively, did not resist killing by neutrophils. When bacteria were allowed to recover from the toxicity of paraquat for 1 h on ice and for 30 min at 37 degrees C, they still failed to resist killing by neutrophils. Induction of the synthesis of catalase 9-fold by growth in the presence of phenazine methosulfate did not render E. coli resistant to killing by either neutrophils or by H2O2 itself. The lack of protection by intrabacterial catalase from killing by neutrophils could not be attributed to an impermeable bacterial membrane; the evolution of O2 from H2O2 was no less rapid in suspensions of E. coli than in lysates. The failure of intrabacterial catalase or superoxide dismutase to protect bacteria from killing by neutrophils might indicate either that the flux of O-2 and H2O2 in the phagosome is too great for the intrabacterial enzymes to alter or that the site of injury is at the bacterial surface.[1]


  1. Catalase and superoxide dismutase in Escherichia coli. Schwartz, C.E., Krall, J., Norton, L., McKay, K., Kay, D., Lynch, R.E. J. Biol. Chem. (1983) [Pubmed]
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