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Open Access Highly Accessed Research article

Identification and evaluation of the role of the manganese efflux protein in Deinococcus radiodurans

Hongxing Sun1, Guangzhi Xu1, Hongdan Zhan1, Huan Chen2, Zongtao Sun1, Bing Tian1 and Yuejin Hua1*

Author Affiliations

1 Key Laboratory for Nuclear-Agricultural Sciences of Chinese Ministry of Agriculture and Zhejiang Province, Institute of Nuclear-Agricultural Sciences, Zhejiang University, 310029, Hangzhou, PR China

2 Zhejiang Institute of Microbiology, Zhejiang Province, Hangzhou, 310012, PR China

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BMC Microbiology 2010, 10:319  doi:10.1186/1471-2180-10-319

Published: 14 December 2010

Abstract

Background

Deinococcus radiodurans accumulates high levels of manganese ions, and this is believed to be correlated with the radiation resistance ability of this microorganism. However, the maintenance of manganese ion homeostasis in D. radiodurans remains to be investigated.

Results

In this study, we identified the manganese efflux protein (MntE) in D. radiodurans. The null mutant of mntE was more sensitive than the wild-type strain to manganese ions, and the growth of the mntE mutant was delayed in manganese-supplemented media. Furthermore, there was a substantial increase in the in vivo concentration of manganese ions. Consistent with these characteristics, the mntE mutant was more resistant to H2O2, ultraviolet rays, and γ-radiation. The intracellular protein oxidation (carbonylation) level of the mutant strain was remarkably lower than that of the wild-type strain.

Conclusions

Our results indicated that dr1236 is indeed a mntE homologue and is indispensable for maintaining manganese homeostasis in D. radiodurans. The data also provide additional evidence for the involvement of intracellular manganese ions in the radiation resistance of D. radiodurans.