Halobacterium salinarium, a member of the extremely halophilic archaebacteria, contains a C50-carotenoid namely bacterioruberin. We have previously reported the high resistance of this organism against the lethal actions of DNA-damaging agents including ionizing radiation and ultraviolet light (UV). In this study, we have examined whether bacterioruberin and the highly concentrated salts in this bacterium play protective roles against the lethal actions of ionizing radiation, UV, hydrogen peroxide, and mitomycin-C (MMC). The colourless mutant of H. salinarium deficient in bacterioruberin was more sensitive than the red-pigmented wild-type to all tested DNA-damaging agents except MMC. Circular dichroism (CD) spectra of H. salinarium chromosomal DNA at various concentrations of KCl (0-3.5 M) were similar to that of B-DNA, indicating that no conformational changes occurred as a result of high salt concentrations. However, DNA strand-breaks induced by ionizing radiation were significantly reduced by the presence of either bacterioruberin or concentrated KCl, presumably due to scavenging of free radicals. These results suggest that bacterioruberin and intracellular KCl of H. salinarium protect this organism against the lethal effects of oxidative DNA-damaging agents.
- Halobacterium salinarium
- Salt effect
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
- Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis