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Mammalian Antioxidant Protein Complements Alkylhydroperoxide Reductase (ahpC) Mutation In Escherichia Coli

K Tsuji, N G Copeland, N A Jenkins, M Obinata

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The MER5 [now called the Aop1 (antioxidant protein 1) gene] was cloned as a transiently expressed gene of murine erythroleukaemia (MEL) cell differentiation and its antisense expression inhibited differentiation of MEL cells. We found that the Aop1 gene shows significant nucleotide sequence similarity to the gene coding for the C22 subunit of Salmonella typhimurium alkylhydroperoxide reductase, which is also found in other bacteria, suggesting it functions as an antioxidant protein. Expression of the Aop1 gene product in E. coli deficient in the C22-subunit gene rescued resistance of the bacteria to alkylhydroperoxide. The human and mouse Aop1 genes are highly conserved, and they mapped to the regions syntenic between mouse and human chromosomes. Sequence comparisons with recently cloned mammalian Aop1 homologues suggest that these genes consist of a family that is responsible for regulation of cellular proliferation, differentiation and antioxidant functions.