Environ. Microbiol. 2009, 11, 2491. 

Microbiological metal toxicity involves redox reactions between metal species and cellular molecules, and therefore, we hypothesized that antioxidant systems might be chromosomal determinants affecting the susceptibility of bacteria to metal toxicity. Here, survival was quantified in metal ion-exposed planktonic cultures of several Escherichia coli strains, each bearing a mutation in a gene important for redox homeostasis. This characterized approximately 250 gene-metal combinations and identified that sodA, sodB, gor, trxA, gshA, grxA and marR have distinct roles in safeguarding or sensitizing cells to different toxic metal ions (Cr(2)O(7)(2-), Co(2+), Cu(2+), Ag(+), Zn(2+), AsO(2)(-), SeO(3)(2-) or TeO(3)(2-)). To shed light on these observations, fluorescent sensors for reactive oxygen species (ROS) and reduced thiol (RSH) quantification were used to ascertain that different metal ions exert oxidative toxicity through disparate modes-of-action. Th...

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