Effect of iron concentration on the expression and activity of catalase-peroxidases in mycobacteria

Veena C. Yeruva, C. A.S.Sivagami Sundaram, Manjula Sritharan

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4 Scopus citations


Mycobacterial catalases are known to exist in different isoforms. We studied the influence of iron concentration on the expression and activity of the different isoforms in Mycobacterium bovis BCG, M. smegmatis, M. fortuitum, M. kansasii and M. vaccae by growing them under iron-sufficient (4 μg Fe/mL) and iron-deficient (0.02 μg Fe/ml) conditions. Upon iron deprivation, significant differences were observed in the catalase/peroxidase activities in both quantitative spectrophotometric assays and in the activity staining in native gels. Notable feature was that the peroxidase activity showed a significant decrease upon iron deprivation in all the mycobacteria, except M. vaccae. Peroxidase activity in all the mycobacteria, irrespective of the iron status was susceptible to heat inactivation. However, the isoforms of catalase showed differences in their heat stability, indicating possible structural differences in these proteins. For example, M. bovis BCG expressed a heat labile catalase under iron-sufficient conditions, while a heat stable catalase band of similar mobility was expressed under iron-deprivation conditions. The study clearly indicates that iron plays an important role in the regulation of expression of the different isoforms of the catalase-peroxidases.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)28-33
Number of pages6
JournalIndian Journal of Biochemistry and Biophysics
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 1 2005


  • Catalase-peroxidases
  • Iron
  • Mycobacteria

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Biochemistry


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