, Volume 70, Issue 1, pp 45-50

The Role of Antioxidant Systems in the Cold Stress Response of Escherichia coli

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The response of aerobically grown Escherichia coli cells to the cold shock induced by the rapid lowering of growth temperature from 37 to 20°C was found to be basically the same as the oxidative stress response. The enhanced sensitivity of cells deficient in two superoxide dismutases, Mn-SOD and Fe-SOD, and the increased expression of the Mn-SOD gene, sodA, in response to cold stress were interpreted as both oxidative and cold stresses are due to a rise in the intracellular level of superoxide anion. The long-term cultivation of E. coli at 20°C was also accompanied by the typical oxidative stress response reactions—an enhanced expression of the Mn-SOD and catalase HPI genes and a decrease in the intracellular level of reduced glutathione (GSH) and in the GSH/GSSG ratio.