Molecular biotechnology

Molecular Cloning and Biochemical Characterization of the Iron Superoxide Dismutase from the Cyanobacterium Nostoc punctiforme ATCC 29133 and Its Response to Methyl Viologen-Induced Oxidative Stress.

PMID 26438488


Superoxide dismutase (SOD) detoxifies cell-toxic superoxide radicals and constitutes an important component of antioxidant machinery in aerobic organisms, including cyanobacteria. The iron-containing SOD (SodB) is one of the most abundant soluble proteins in the cytosol of the nitrogen-fixing cyanobacterium Nostoc punctiforme ATCC 29133, and therefore, we investigated its biochemical properties and response to oxidative stress. The putative SodB-encoding open reading frame Npun_R6491 was cloned and overexpressed in Escherichia coli as a C-terminally hexahistidine-tagged protein. The purified recombinant protein had a SodB specific activity of 2560 ± 48 U/mg protein at pH 7.8 and was highly thermostable. The presence of a characteristic iron absorption peak at 350 nm, and its sensitivity to H2O2 and azide, confirmed that the SodB is an iron-containing SOD. Transcript level of SodB in nitrogen-fixing cultures of N. punctiforme decreased considerably (threefold) after exposure to an oxidative stress-generating herbicide methyl viologen for 4 h. Furthermore, in-gel SOD activity analysis of such cultures grown at increasing concentrations of methyl viologen also showed a loss of SodB activity. These results suggest that SodB is not the primary scavenger of superoxide radicals induced by methyl viologen in N. punctiforme.