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Characterization of a catalase-deficient strain of Neisseria gonorrhoeae: evidence for the significance of catalase in the biology of N. gonorrhoeae.

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  • Research Article
  • Biology
  • Chemistry


We obtained a catalase-deficient (Kat-) strain of Neisseria gonorrhoeae isolated from a patient who had been unsuccessfully treated with penicillin. Quantitative enzyme assays and electrophoresis of cell extracts on native polyacrylamide gels subsequently stained for catalase and peroxidase activities failed to detect both enzymes. The strain exhibited no growth anomalies or unusual requirements when grown under ordinary laboratory conditions. However, the Kat- strain proved extremely sensitive to exogenous hydrogen peroxide, and analysis of the bacterial DNA after such exposure showed extensive single-strand breakage in both chromosomal and plasmid DNAs. Partial characterization of the gonococcal catalase from a Kat+ laboratory strain revealed that the enzyme had the physical and chemical properties of both catalase and peroxidase.

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