Genes Important for Catalase Activity in Enterococcus faecalis.
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Little in general is known about how heme proteins are assembled from their constituents in cells. The Gram-positive bacterium Enterococcus faecalis cannot synthesize heme and does not depend on it for growth. However, when supplied with heme in the growth medium the cells can synthesize two heme proteins; catalase (KatA) and cytochrome bd (CydAB). To identify novel factors important for catalase biogenesis libraries of E. faecalis gene insertion mutants were generated using two different types of transposons. The libraries of mutants were screened for clones deficient in catalase activity using a colony zymogram staining procedure. Analysis of obtained clones identified, in addition to katA (encoding the catalase enzyme protein), nine genes distributed over five different chromosomal loci. No factors with a dedicated essential role in catalase biogenesis or heme trafficking were revealed, but the results indicate the RNA degradosome (srmB, rnjA), an ABC-type oligopeptide transporter (oppBC), a two-component signal transducer (etaR), and NADH peroxidase (npr) as being important for expression of catalase activity in E. faecalis. It is demonstrated that catalase biogenesis in E. faecalis is independent of the CydABCD proteins and that a conserved proline residue in the N-terminal region of KatA is important for catalase assembly.