Functional comparison of Deinococcus radiodurans Dps proteins suggests distinct in vivo roles

Brian J. Reon, Louisiana State University
Khoa H. Nguyen, Louisiana State University
Gargi Bhattacharyya, Louisiana State University
Anne Grove, Louisiana State University


Deinococcus radiodurans exhibits extreme resistance to DNA damage and is one of only few bacteria that encode two Dps (DNA protection during starvation) proteins. Dps-1 was shown previously to bind DNA with high affinity and to localize to the D. radiodurans nucleoid. A unique feature of Dps-2 is its predicted signal peptide. In the present paper, we report thatDps-2 assembly into a dodecamer requires the C-terminal extension and, whereas Dps-2 binds DNA with low affinity, it protects against degradation by reactive oxygen species. Consistent with a role for Dps-2 in oxidative stress responses, the Dps-2 promoter is up-regulated by oxidative stress, whereas the Dps-1 promoter is not. Although DAPI (4′,6-diamidino-2-phenylindole) staining of Escherichia coli nucleoids shows that Dps-1 can compact genomic DNA, such nucleoid condensation is absent from cells expressing Dps-2. A fusion of EGFP (enhanced green fluorescent protein) to the Dps-2 signal peptide results in green fluorescence at the perimeter of D. radiodurans cells. The differential response of the Dps-1 and Dps-2 promoters to oxidative stress, the distinct cellular localization of the proteins and the differential ability of Dps-1 and Dps-2 to attenuate hydroxyl radical production suggest distinct functional roles; whereas Dps-1 may function in DNAmetabolism, Dps-2may protect against exogenously derived reactive oxygen species. © The Authors Journal compilation © 2012 Biochemical Society.