Acclimation and repair of DNA damage in recombinant bioluminescent Escherichia coli

J. Min, M. B. Gu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


Aims: The aim of this study is to understand different adaptive responses in bacteria caused by three different mutagens, namely, an intercalating agent, an alkylating agent and a hydroxylating agent, and the repair systems according to the type of DNA damage, that is, DNA cross-linking and delayed DNA synthesis, alkylation and hydroxylation of DNA. A recombinant bioluminescent Escherichia coli, DPD2794 with the recA promoter fused to luxCDABE originating from Vibrio fischeri, was used in this study. Methods and Results: The recombinant bioluminescent E. coli strain DPD2794, containing a recA promoter fused to luxCDABE from V. fischeri, was used to detect adaptive and repair responses to DNA damage caused by mitomycin C (MMC), and these responses were compared with those when the cells were induced with N-methyl-N-nitro-N-nitrosoguanidine (MNNG) and hydrogen peroxide (H2O2). The response ratio between the induced samples and that of the controls decreased suddenly when the induced culture was used in further inductions, indicating a possible adaptive response to DNA damage. DNA damage, or the proteins produced, because of MMC addition does not appear to be completely resolved until the seventh sub-culture after the initial induction, whereas simple damage, such as the base modification caused by MNNG and H2O2, appears to be repaired rapidly as evidenced by the quick recovery of sensitivity. Conclusions: These results suggest that it takes more time to completely repair DNA damage caused by MMC, as compared with a simple repair such as that required for the damage caused by MNNG and H2O2. Therefore, repair of the damage caused by these three mutagens is controlled by different regulons, even though they all induced the recA promoter. Significance and Impact of the Study: Using a bioluminescent E. coli harbouring a recA promoter-lux fusion, it was found that different adaptive responses and repair systems for DNA damage caused by several mutagens exists in E. coli.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)479-483
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Applied Microbiology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2003
Externally publishedYes


  • DNA damage
  • DNA damage acclimation
  • DNA repair
  • Recombinant bioluminescent bacteria
  • recA promoter

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology


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