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Compensatory functions of two alkyl hydroperoxide reductases in the oxidative defense system of Legionella pneumophila.


ABSTRACT: Legionella pneumophila expresses two catalase-peroxidase enzymes that exhibit strong peroxidatic but weak catalatic activities, suggesting that other enzymes participate in decomposition of hydrogen peroxide (H2O2). Comparative genomics revealed that L. pneumophila and its close relative Coxiella burnetii each contain two peroxide-scavenging alkyl hydroperoxide reductase (AhpC) systems: AhpC1, which is similar to the Helicobacter pylori AhpC system, and AhpC2 AhpD (AhpC2D), which is similar to the AhpC AhpD system of Mycobacterium tuberculosis. To establish a catalatic function for these two systems, we expressed L. pneumophila ahpC1 or ahpC2 in a catalase/peroxidase mutant of Escherichia coli and demonstrated restoration of H2O2 resistance by a disk diffusion assay. ahpC1::Km and ahpC2D::Km chromosomal deletion mutants were two- to eightfold more sensitive to H2O2, tert-butyl hydroperoxide, cumene hydroperoxide, and paraquat than the wild-type L. pneumophila, a phenotype that could be restored by trans-complementation. Reciprocal strategies to construct double mutants were unsuccessful. Mutant strains were not enfeebled for growth in vitro or in a U937 cell infection model. Green fluorescence protein reporter assays revealed expression to be dependent on the stage of growth, with ahpC1 appearing after the exponential phase and ahpC2 appearing during early exponential phase. Quantitative real-time PCR showed that ahpC1 mRNA levels were approximately 7- to 10-fold higher than ahpC2D mRNA levels. However, expression of ahpC2D was significantly increased in the ahpC1 mutant, whereas ahpC1 expression was unchanged in the ahpC2D mutant. These results indicate that AhpC1 or AhpC2D (or both) provide an essential hydrogen peroxide-scavenging function to L. pneumophila and that the compensatory activity of the ahpC2D system is most likely induced in response to oxidative stress.

SUBMITTER: LeBlanc JJ 

PROVIDER: S-EPMC1595364 | BioStudies | 2006-01-01

REPOSITORIES: biostudies

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