The oxidative and nitrosative stress defence network ofWolinella succinogenes: cytochromecnitrite reductase mediates the stress response to nitrite, nitric oxide, hydroxylamine and hydrogen peroxide

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SummaryMicroorganisms employ diverse mechanisms to withstand physiological stress conditions exerted by reactive or toxic oxygen and nitrogen species such as hydrogen peroxide, organic hydroperoxides, superoxide anions, nitrite, hydroxylamine, nitric oxide or NO-generating compounds. This study identified components of the oxidative and nitrosative stress defence network ofWolinella succinogenes, an exceptionalEpsilonproteobacteriumthat lacks both catalase and haemoglobins. Various gene deletion–insertion mutants were constructed, grown by either fumarate respiration or respiratory nitrate ammonification and subjected to disc diffusion, growth and viability assays under stress conditions. It was demonstrated that mainly two periplasmic multihaemc-type cytochromes, namely cytochromecperoxidase and cytochromecnitrite reductase (NrfA), mediated resistance to hydrogen peroxide. Two AhpC-type peroxiredoxin isoenzymes were shown to be involved in protection against different organic hydroperoxides. The phenotypes of two superoxide dismutase mutants lacking either SodB or SodB2 implied that both isoenzymes play important roles in oxygen and superoxide stress defence although they are predicted to reside in the cytoplasm and periplasm respectively. NrfA and a cytoplasmic flavodiiron protein (Fdp) were identified as key components of nitric oxide detoxification. In addition, NrfA (but not the hybrid cluster protein Hcp) was found to mediate resistance to hydroxylamine stress. The results indicate the presence of a robust oxidative and nitrosative stress defence network and identify NrfA as a multifunctional cytochromecinvolved in both anaerobic respiration and stress protection.

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