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Fuentes, AM and Amábile-Cuevas, CF (1998) Antioxidant vitamins C and E affect the superoxide-mediated induction of the soxRS regulon of Escherichia coli. Microbiology (Reading, Engl.) 144 ( Pt 7):1731-6


The mechanism of activation of Escherichia coli redox sensory protein SoxR is still unclear: a [2Fe-2S] cluster contained in a SoxR dimer is potentially redox-sensitive, but the nature of the signal is unknown. Antioxidant vitamins C (ascorbate) and E (alpha-tocopherol) were used to explore the mechanism of activation of the SoxR protein in vivo. Treating E. coli cells with ascorbate or alpha-tocopherol increased their tolerance to paraquat (PQ, a redox-cycling compound), even in the absence of the soxRS locus, suggesting a radical-quenching activity. When using a soxS'::lacZ fusion, whose expression is governed by activated SoxR, ascorbate and alpha-tocopherol also prevented the expression of beta-galactosidase after PQ treatment. A secondary activity was observed in cells carrying soxR101, a mutation resulting in the constitutive expression of the sox regulon, where the overexpression of soxS'::lacZ was also reduced by ascorbate or alpha-tocopherol treatment. Additionally, different mechanisms of action were revealed as alpha-tocopherol was capable of preventing both PQ and meanadione (MD) lethality, whilst ascorbate prevented PQ lethality but increased MD-mediated cell death. It is proposed that alpha-tocopherol, positioned in membranes, can prevent superoxide-dependent membrane damage; however, water-soluble ascorbate is unable to do so and can even increase the concentration of oxygen radicals reacting with released membrane-associated Fe(II).




Antioxidants/metabolism; Antioxidants/pharmacology; Ascorbic Acid/metabolism; Ascorbic Acid/pharmacology; Bacterial Proteins/drug effects; Bacterial Proteins/genetics; Bacterial Proteins/physiology; Escherichia coli/drug effects; Escherichia coli/genetics; Escherichia coli/physiology; Escherichia coli Proteins; Galactosidases/analysis; Gene Expression Regulation/drug effects; Herbicides/antagonists & inhibitors; Herbicides/toxicity; Oxidation-Reduction; Paraquat/antagonists & inhibitors; Paraquat/toxicity; Regulon/drug effects; Trans-Activators; Transcription Factors/drug effects; Transcription Factors/genetics; Transcription Factors/physiology; Vitamin E/metabolism; Vitamin E/pharmacology; Vitamin K/administration & dosage; Vitamin K/antagonists & inhibitors; Vitamin K/toxicity


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