Catalase and superoxide dismutase: distribution, properties, and physiological role in cells of strict anaerobes

Biochemistry (Mosc). 2004 Sep;69(9):949-62. doi: 10.1023/b:biry.0000043537.04115.d9.


This review considers the distribution of the main enzymes of antioxidative defense, superoxide dismutase (SOD) and catalase, in various groups of strictly anaerobic microorganisms: bacteria of the genus Clostridium, Bacteroides, sulfate-reducing and acetogenic bacteria, methanogenic archaea, etc. Molecular and biochemical properties of purified Fe-containing SODs, cambialistic SODs, and heme catalases are presented. The physiological role and origin of the enzymes of antioxidative defense in strict anaerobes are discussed. Physiological responses (induction of SOD and catalase) to factors provoking oxidative stress in the cells of strict anaerobes able to maintain viability under aerobic conditions are also considered.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Antioxidants / chemistry
  • Antioxidants / physiology*
  • Bacteria, Anaerobic / physiology*
  • Catalase / chemistry
  • Catalase / physiology*
  • Iron / chemistry
  • Oxidative Stress
  • Superoxide Dismutase / chemistry
  • Superoxide Dismutase / physiology*


  • Antioxidants
  • Iron
  • Catalase
  • Superoxide Dismutase