In preliminary experiments it was found that Escherichia coli strains AB1157 and KS400 are different in their abilities to grow under various oxygen levels in cultivation medium: the first strain does not grow under high oxygen conditions, unlike the second one. To investigate whether the damage to cellular components due to production of reactive oxygen species (ROS) was responsible for this difference, the intensity of free radical oxidation of proteins and lipids as well as the activities of selected antioxidant and associated enzymes (superoxide dismutase, catalase, peroxidase, glutathione reductase, glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase) were compared in the two strains. The level of thiobarbituric acid-reactive substances was 1.8-2.5-fold higher in AB1157 than in KS400, but the concentration of carbonyl proteins was lower in the AB1157 strain. In both strains growth under higher oxygen levels resulted in higher superoxide dismutase and peroxidase activities in both exponential and stationary phases. Overall, the activities of antioxidant enzymes were always higher in the KS400 strain than in AB1157. The results for both lipid and protein oxidative damage and antioxidant enzyme activities suggest that the differences in oxygen tolerance between these two strains may be due to their different abilities to cope with ROS.

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Biochemistry (Moscow)
Department of Biology

Semchyshyn, H., Lushchak, V., & Storey, K. (2005). Possible reasons for difference in sensitivity to oxygen of two escherichia coli strains. Biochemistry (Moscow), 70(4), 424–431. doi:10.1007/s10541-005-0132-1