Molecular characterization of catalase from Bordetella pertussis: identification of the katA promoter in an upstream insertion sequence

David DeShazer, Gwendolyn E. Wood, Richard L. Friedman

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29 Scopus citations


In this report we evaluate the role of catalase in the survival of Bordetella pertussis within human polymorphonuclear leukocytes (PMNs). Crude extracts of B. pertussis exhibited a single catalase activity when subjected to non‐denaturing polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis and assayed for catalase activity. A plasmid containing B. pertussis katA was identified by complementation of UM255, a catalase‐deficient strain of Escherichia coli. The nucleotide sequence of katA predicts a 55kDa protein that shares homology with a class of haem‐containing catalases found in both eubacteria and eukaryotes. Analysis of the nucleotide sequence upstream of katA revealed the presence of a copy of IS481, a B. pertussis‐specific insertion sequence. The start site of transcription of katA was mapped to a T residue in IS481 by primer extension analysis performed with B. pertussis RNA and a katA‐specific primer. A catalase‐deficient strain of B. pertussis, DD900, was constructed by gene replacement. DD900 was more sensitive to killing by 1 and 5 mM H2O2 than the parental strain, BP339. However, there was no difference in the ability of DD900 and BP339 to survive for 2h in human PMNs. This suggests that catalase plays no significant role in the survival of B. pertussis within PMNs

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)123-130
Number of pages8
JournalMolecular Microbiology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Oct 1994


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology
  • Molecular Biology

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