Campylobacter jejuni Dps protein binds DNA in the presence of iron or hydrogen peroxide
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Iron is an essential cofactor for many enzymes; however, this metal can lead to the formation of reactive oxygen species. Ferritin proteins bind and oxidize Fe2+ to Fe3+, storing this metal in a nonreactive form. In some organisms, a particular subfamily of ferritins, namely, Dps proteins, have the ability to bind DNA. Here we show that the Campylobacter jejuni Dps has DNA binding activity that is uniquely activated by Fe2+ or H2O2 at below neutral pH. The Dps-DNA binding activity correlated with the ability of Dps to self-aggregate. The Dps-DNA interaction was inhibited by NaCl and Mg2+, suggesting the formation of ionic interactions between Dps and DNA. Alkylation of cysteines affected DNA binding in the presence of H2O2 but not in the presence of Fe2+. Replacement of all cysteines in C. jejuni Dps with serines did not affect DNA binding, excluding the participation of cysteine in H2O2 sensing. Dps was able to protect DNA in vitro from enzymatic cleavage and damage by hydroxyl radicals. A C. jejuni dps mutant was less resistant to H2O2 in vivo. The concerted activation of Dps-DNA binding in response to low pH, H2O2, and Fe2+ may protect C. jejuni DNA during host colonization.
Journal of Bacteriology
© 2013 American Society for Microbiology. This is the author-manuscript version of this paper. Reproduced in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher. Please refer to the journal's website for access to the definitive, published version.