Management of oxidative stress in Bacillus

Peter Zuber

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

134 Scopus citations


The spore-forming bacterium and model prokaryotic genetic system, Bacillus subtilis, is extremely useful in the study of oxidative stress management through proteomic and genome-wide transcriptomic analyses, as well as through detailed structural studies of the regulatory factors that govern the oxidative stress response. The factors that sense oxidants and induce expression of protective activities include the PerR and OhrR proteins, which show acute discrimination for their peroxide stimuli, whereas the general stress control factor, the RNA polymerase σB subunit and the thiol-based sensor Spx, govern the protective response to oxidants under multiple stress conditions. Some specific and some redundant protective mechanisms are mobilized at different stages of the Bacillus developmental cycle to deal with vulnerable cells in stationary-phase conditions and during spore germination and outgrowth. An important unknown is the nature and influence of the low-molecular-weight thiols that mediate the buffering of the redox environment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)575-597
Number of pages23
JournalAnnual Review of Microbiology
StatePublished - Oct 2009
Externally publishedYes


  • Hydrogen peroxide
  • Nitric oxide
  • OhrR
  • PerR
  • Spore
  • Spx

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology


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