Mar 23, 2018 | Updated: 09:54 AM EDT

Bacterial Enzymes That Neutralizes Oxidants From Immune System Found

Mar 24, 2017 01:21 AM EDT

A research project was conducted with the collaboration of the Brazilian institutions to study of bacterial enzymes that help bacteria defend themselves against the oxidants of the immune system. Researchers had found out Ohr enzyme or the organic hydroperoxide resistance enzyme in bacteria that has the power to neutralize oxidizing substances against the body's defense system.

According to, Luis Eduardo Soares Netto, a professor at the University of São Paulo's Bioscience Institute and the principal investigator of the study said, "There are known proteins with a structure similar to Ohr's found in plants and animals." He also suggests that it is possible to inhibit the bacterial enzyme in bacteria without causing any harm to the infected organism that makes it an interesting matter for drug development.

Netto and his team used pathogens in performing several experiments to understand how the Ohr works in bacterial anti-oxidant defense. Likewise, the research is linked to the Center of Research and Redox Processes in Biomedicine (Redoxoma) - one of the Research, Innovation and Dissemination Centers funded by FAPESP.

The immune system (antibodies) is a defense system that normally reacts to any foreign bodies such us viruses and bacteria, that enters the blood stream. Per Better Health Channel, these antibodies set up a defense to the invasion of microbes into the blood stream.

Aside from the antibodies, lymph nodes also prevent microbes from spreading into the body. It traps bacteria and kills it. However, Professor Luis Eduardo Soares Netto, in his research about the Ohr, has concluded that there is a bacterial enzyme really resist and neutralize the oxidizing substances that these antibodies have.

Netto in his statement, "we observed that Ohr was able to neutralize hydrogen peroxide but that process was 10,000 times slower than in the case of arachidonic acid hydroperoxide." He explained that it took minutes for the other peroxides than when the bacterial enzyme is incubated with fatty acid hydroperoxides.

The researchers compared a group of mutant bacteria with deleted Ohr enzyme with wild bacteria which can produce bacterial enzymes. Both groups were placed in different hydroperoxide concentrations to test their resistance.

Even with the high level of hydroperoxide concentrations, wild bacteria still manage to grow while mutant bacteria stopped to multiply. However, when the team reinserted the Ohr gene to the mutant bacteria, their resistance grew and made comparable to the wild ones. This shows that during evolution, bacteria evolved and developed antioxidant proteins to circumvent host organism's defenses.

Netto suggests that Ohr plays an important role in bacterial antioxidant defenses. Other mutant bacteria, in which the genes for this bacterial enzymes had been deleted, were not as sensitive to fatty acid hydroperoxide and peroxynitrite as to the mutant strain without Ohr.

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