Homologous overexpression of NpDps2 and NpDps5 increases the tolerance for oxidative stress in the multicellular cyanobacterium Nostoc punctiforme

FEMS Microbiol Lett. 2018 Sep 1;365(18):fny198. doi: 10.1093/femsle/fny198.


The filamentous cyanobacterium Nostoc punctiforme has several oxidative stress-managing systems, including Dps proteins. Dps proteins belong to the ferritin superfamily and are involved in abiotic stress management in prokaryotes. Previously, we found that one of the five Dps proteins in N. punctiforme, NpDps2, was critical for H2O2 tolerance. Stress induced by high light intensities is aggravated in N. punctiforme strains deficient of either NpDps2, or the bacterioferritin-like NpDps5. Here, we have investigated the capacity of NpDps2 and NpDps5 to enhance stress tolerance by homologous overexpression of these two proteins in N. punctiforme. Both overexpression strains were found to tolerate twice as high concentrations of added H2O2 as the control strain, indicating that overexpression of either NpDps2 or NpDps5 will enhance the capacity for H2O2 tolerance. Under high light intensities, the overexpression of the two NpDps did not enhance the tolerance against general light-induced stress. However, overexpression of the heterocyst-specific NpDps5 in all cells of the filament led to a higher amount of chlorophyll-binding proteins per cell during diazotrophic growth. The OENpDps5 strain also showed an increased tolerance to ammonium-induced oxidative stress. Our results provide information of how Dps proteins may be utilised for engineering of cyanobacteria with enhanced stress tolerance.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Antioxidants / metabolism*
  • Bacterial Proteins / genetics
  • Bacterial Proteins / metabolism*
  • Gene Expression*
  • Hydrogen Peroxide / toxicity
  • Light
  • Nostoc / drug effects
  • Nostoc / enzymology*
  • Nostoc / genetics
  • Nostoc / radiation effects
  • Oxidative Stress*
  • Stress, Physiological


  • Antioxidants
  • Bacterial Proteins
  • Hydrogen Peroxide