Moraxella catarrhalis is subjected to oxidative stress from both internal and environmental sources. A previous study (C. D. Pericone, K. Overweg, P. W. Hermans, and J. N. Weiser, Infect. Immun. 68:3990-3997, 2000) indicated that a wild-type strain of M. catarrhalis was very resistant to killing by exogenous hydrogen peroxide (H2O2). The gene encoding OxyR, a LysR family transcriptional regulator, was identified and inactivated in M. catarrhalis strain O35E, resulting in an increase in sensitivity to killing by H2O2 in disk diffusion assays and a concomitant aerobic serial dilution effect. Genes encoding a predicted catalase (KatA) and an alkyl hydroperoxidase (AhpCF) showed dose-dependent upregulation in wild-type cells exposed to H2O2. DNA microarray and real-time reverse transcription-PCR (RT-PCR) analyses identified M. catarrhalis genes whose expression was affected by oxidative stress in an OxyR-dependent manner. Testing of M. catarrhalis O35E katA and ahpC mutants for their abilities to scavenge exogenous H2O2 showed that the KatA catalase was responsible for most of this activity in the wild-type parent strain. The introduction of the same mutations into M. catarrhalis strain ETSU-4 showed that the growth of a ETSU-4 katA mutant was markedly inhibited by the addition of 50 mM H2O2 but that this mutant could still form a biofilm equivalent to that produced by its wild-type parent strain.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Infectious Diseases