False Positive SOD Activity of Bifidobacterium spp. Grown in MRS Medium

  • Chang, Woo-Suk (Department of Biological Engineering, Inha University) ;
  • So, Jae-Seong (Department of Biological Engineering, Inha University)
  • Published : 1998.08.01


The superoxide dismutase (SOD) activity of seven Bifidobacterium spp. strains was examined by an indirect SOD assay method. Some Bifidobacterium spp. showed significant levels of SOD activity. However, we could not observe any significant differences between anaerobic and aerobic cultures. Furthermore, although several Bifidobacterium spp. exhibited some degree of tolerance to paraquat which produces superoxide radicals, the apparent SOD activity of these strains was not correlated with their resistance to paraquat. In addition, when we added increasing amounts of manganese or iron to MRS medium which had been prepared without either of the metal ions, the apparent SOD activity of cell free extracts (CFEs) was increased with increasing concentration of both metal ions. To our surprise, the heat-denatured CFEs also showed nearly identical correlative patterns. Based on these results, the apparent SOD activity was likely due to a nonenzymatic dismutation. These results strongly suggest that high concentration of divalent metal ions ($Mn^{2+}$, $Fe^{2+}$) in MRS medium result in nonenzymatic dismutation which can lead to false positive SOD activities in Bifidobacerium spp.