Author

Lily Vu

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Science (BS)

Department

Biology

First Advisor

Laura Laranjo

Abstract

Reactive oxygen species (ROS) are produced naturally in a cell and when the cell is in homeostasis, there is an equilibrium of ROS and antioxidants (enzymes that combat ROS). Stresses can occur such as “Oxidative Stress” which results in an influx of ROS compared to antioxidants in the cell and could lead to damage of DNA, lipids and proteins and also cell death. To return the cell’s homeostatic state, bacteria have evolved to contain defense mechanisms to eradicate ROS. This paper will focus on the regulation of antioxidants that are produced to eliminate high concentrations of ROS when the cell is under oxidative stress. These antioxidants are encompassed in a mechanism called a “Regulon,” which controls the production of these enzymes. The regulons within this paper include the OxyR, Rpos, SoxRS, PerR, and OhrR regulons. Each regulon plays a critical role in the survival of bacterial species when experiencing oxidative stress. There are many mechanisms such as regulons that help defend the bacterial cell from damage or death from oxidative stress.

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