Defenses against oxidative stress in Neisseria gonorrhoeae: a system tailored for a challenging environment
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Neisseria gonorrhoeae is a host-adapted pathogen that colonizes primarily the human genitourinary tract. This bacterium encounters reactive oxygen and reactive nitrogen species as a consequence of localized inflammatory responses in the urethra of males and endocervix of females and also of the activity of commensal lactobacilli in the vaginal flora. This review describes recent advances in the understanding of defense systems against oxidative stress in N. gonorrhoeae and shows that while some of its defenses have similarities to the paradigm established with Escherichia coli, there are also some key differences. These differences include the presence of a defense system against superoxide based on manganese ions and a glutathione-dependent system for defense against nitric oxide which is under the control of a novel MerR-like transcriptional regulator. An understanding of the defenses against oxidative stress in N. gonorrhoeae and their regulation may provide new insights into the ways in which this bacterium survives challenges from polymorphonuclear leukocytes and urogenital epithelial cells.
Microbiology and Molecular Biology Reviews
Copyright 2006 American Society for Microbiology. The attached file is reproduced here in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher. Please refer to the journal's website for access to the definitive, published version.