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Catalase Edit Wikipedia article
|PDB structures||RCSB PDB PDBe PDBsum|
|Gene Ontology||AmiGO / QuickGO|
Catalase is a common enzyme found in nearly all living organisms exposed to oxygen (such as bacteria, plants, and animals). It catalyzes the decomposition of hydrogen peroxide to water and oxygen. It is a very important enzyme in protecting the cell from oxidative damage by reactive oxygen species (ROS). Likewise, catalase has one of the highest turnover numbers of all enzymes; one catalase molecule can convert millions of hydrogen peroxide molecules to water and oxygen each second.
Catalase is a tetramer of four polypeptide chains, each over 500 amino acids long. It contains four iron-containing heme groups that allow the enzyme to react with the hydrogen peroxide. The optimum pH for human catalase is approximately 7, and has a fairly broad maximum: the rate of reaction does not change appreciably between pH 6.8 and 7.5. The pH optimum for other catalases varies between 4 and 11 depending on the species. The optimum temperature also varies by species.
- 1 Structure
- 2 History
- 3 Function
- 4 Distribution among organisms
- 5 Clinical significance and application
- 6 Interactions
- 7 See also
- 8 References
- 9 External links
Human catalase forms a tetramer composed of four subunits, each of which can be conceptually divided into four domains. The extensive core of each subunit is generated by an eight-stranded antiparallel b-barrel (b1-8), with nearest neighbor connectivity capped by b-barrel loops on one side and a9 loops on the other. A helical domain at one face of the b-barrel is composed of four C-terminal helices (a16, a17, a18, and a19) and four helices derived from residues between b4 and b5 (a4, a5, a6, and a7). Alternative splicing may result in different protein variants.
Catalase was not noticed until 1818 when Louis Jacques Thénard, who discovered H2O2 (hydrogen peroxide), suggested its breakdown is caused by an unknown substance. In 1900, Oscar Loew was the first to give it the name catalase, and found it in many plants and animals. In 1937 catalase from beef liver was crystallised by James B. Sumner and Alexander Dounce and the molecular weight was found in 1938.
Catalase catalyzes the following reaction:
- 2 H2O2 → 2 H2O + O2
The presence of catalase in a microbial or tissue sample can be demonstrated by adding hydrogen peroxide and observing the reaction. The production of oxygen can be seen by the formation of bubbles. This easy test, which can be seen with the naked eye, without the aid of instruments, is possible because catalase has a very high specific activity, which produces a detectable response, as well as the fact that one of the products is a gas.
- H2O2 + Fe(III)-E → H2O + O=Fe(IV)-E(.+)
- H2O2 + O=Fe(IV)-E(.+) → H2O + Fe(III)-E + O2
Here Fe()-E represents the iron center of the heme group attached to the enzyme. Fe(IV)-E(.+) is a mesomeric form of Fe(V)-E, meaning the iron is not completely oxidized to +V, but receives some stabilising electron density from the heme ligand, which is then shown as a radical cation (.+).
As hydrogen peroxide enters the active site, it interacts with the amino acids Asn148 (asparagine at position 148) and His75, causing a proton (hydrogen ion) to transfer between the oxygen atoms. The free oxygen atom coordinates, freeing the newly formed water molecule and Fe(IV)=O. Fe(IV)=O reacts with a second hydrogen peroxide molecule to reform Fe(III)-E and produce water and oxygen. The reactivity of the iron center may be improved by the presence of the phenolate ligand of Tyr358 in the fifth coordination position, which can assist in the oxidation of the Fe(III) to Fe(IV). The efficiency of the reaction may also be improved by the interactions of His75 and Asn148 with reaction intermediates. In general, the rate of the reaction can be determined by the Michaelis-Menten equation.
Catalase can also catalyze the oxidation, by hydrogen peroxide, of various metabolites and toxins, including formaldehyde, formic acid, phenols, acetaldehyde and alcohols. It does so according to the following reaction:
- H2O2 + H2R → 2H2O + R
The exact mechanism of this reaction is not known.
Any heavy metal ion (such as copper cations in copper(II) sulfate) can act as a noncompetitive inhibitor of catalase. Furthermore, the poison cyanide is a noncompetitive inhibitor of catalase at high concentrations of hydrogen peroxide. Arsenate acts as an activator. Three-dimensional protein structures of the peroxidated catalase intermediates are available at the Protein Data Bank.
Hydrogen peroxide is a harmful byproduct of many normal metabolic processes; to prevent damage to cells and tissues, it must be quickly converted into other, less dangerous substances. To this end, catalase is frequently used by cells to rapidly catalyze the decomposition of hydrogen peroxide into less-reactive gaseous oxygen and water molecules.
Mice genetically engineered to lack catalase are initially phenotypically normal., however, catalase deficiency in mice may increase the likelihood of developing obesity, fatty liver, and type 2 diabetes. Some humans have very low levels of catalase (acatalasia), yet show few ill effects.
The increased oxidative stress that occurs with aging in mice is alleviated by over-expression of catalase. Over-expressing mice do not exhibit the age-associated loss of spermatozoa, testicular germ and Sertoli cells seen in wild-type mice. Oxidative stress in wild-type mice ordinarily induces oxidative DNA damage (measured as 8-oxodG) in sperm with aging, but these damages are significantly reduced in aged catalase over-expressing mice. Furthermore, these over-expressing mice show no decrease in age-dependent number of pups per litter. Overexpression of catalase targeted to mitochondria extends the lifespan of mice.
Catalase is usually located in a cellular organelle called the peroxisome. Peroxisomes in plant cells are involved in photorespiration (the use of oxygen and production of carbon dioxide) and symbiotic nitrogen fixation (the breaking apart of diatomic nitrogen (N2) to reactive nitrogen atoms). Hydrogen peroxide is used as a potent antimicrobial agent when cells are infected with a pathogen. Catalase-positive pathogens, such as Mycobacterium tuberculosis, Legionella pneumophila, and Campylobacter jejuni, make catalase to deactivate the peroxide radicals, thus allowing them to survive unharmed within the host.
Distribution among organisms
The large majority of known organisms use catalase in every organ, with particularly high concentrations occurring in the liver in mammals. One unique use of catalase occurs in the bombardier beetle. This beetle has two sets of liquids that are stored separately in two paired glands. The larger of the pair, the storage chamber or reservoir, contains hydroquinones and hydrogen peroxide, while the smaller, the reaction chamber, contains catalases and peroxidases. To activate the noxious spray, the beetle mixes the contents of the two compartments, causing oxygen to be liberated from hydrogen peroxide. The oxygen oxidizes the hydroquinones and also acts as the propellant. The oxidation reaction is very exothermic (ΔH = −202.8 kJ/mol) and rapidly heats the mixture to the boiling point.
Almost all aerobic microorganisms use catalase. It is also present in some anaerobic microorganisms, such as Methanosarcina barkeri. Catalase is also universal among plants and occurs in most fungi.
Long-lived queens of the termite Reticulitermes speratus have significantly lower oxidative damage to their DNA than non-reproductive individuals (workers and soldiers). Queens have more than two times higher catalase activity and seven times higher expression levels of the catalase gene RsCAT1 than workers. It appears that the efficient antioxidant capability of termite queens can partly explain how they attain longer life.
Catalase enzymes from various species have vastly differing optimum temperatures. Poikilothermic animals typically have catalases with optimum temperatures in the range of 15-25 °C, while mammalian or avian catalases might have optimum temperatures above 35 °C, and catalases from plants vary depending on their growth habit. In contrast, catalase isolated from the hyperthermophile archaeon Pyrobaculum calidifontis has a temperature optimum of 90 °C.
Clinical significance and application
Catalase is used in the food industry for removing hydrogen peroxide from milk prior to cheese production. Another use is in food wrappers where it prevents food from oxidizing. Catalase is also used in the textile industry, removing hydrogen peroxide from fabrics to make sure the material is peroxide-free.
A minor use is in contact lens hygiene – a few lens-cleaning products disinfect the lens using a hydrogen peroxide solution; a solution containing catalase is then used to decompose the hydrogen peroxide before the lens is used again.
Bacterial identification (catalase test)
The catalase test is one of the three main tests used by microbiologists to identify species of bacteria. If the bacteria possess catalase (i.e., are catalase-positive), when a small amount of bacterial isolate is added to hydrogen peroxide, bubbles of oxygen are observed. The catalase test is done by placing a drop of hydrogen peroxide on a microscope slide. An applicator stick is touched to the colony, and the tip is then smeared onto the hydrogen peroxide drop.
- If the mixture produces bubbles or froth, the organism is said to be 'catalase-positive'. Staphylococci and Micrococci are catalase-positive. Other catalase-positive organisms include Listeria, Corynebacterium diphtheriae, Burkholderia cepacia, Nocardia, the family Enterobacteriaceae (Citrobacter, E. coli, Enterobacter, Klebsiella, Shigella, Yersinia, Proteus, Salmonella, Serratia), Pseudomonas, Mycobacterium tuberculosis, Aspergillus, Cryptococcus, and Rhodococcus equi.
- If not, the organism is 'catalase-negative'. Streptococcus and Enterococcus spp. are catalase-negative.
While the catalase test alone cannot identify a particular organism, it can aid identification when combined with other tests such as antibiotic resistance. The presence of catalase in bacterial cells depends on both the growth condition and the medium used to grow the cells.
Capillary tubes may also be used. A small sample of bacteria is collected on the end of the capillary tube, without blocking the tube, to avoid false negative results. The opposite end is then dipped into hydrogen peroxide, which is drawn into the tube through capillary action, and turned upside down, so that the bacterial points downwards. The hand holding the tube is then tapped on the bench, moving the hydrogen peroxide down until it touches the bacteria. If bubbles form on contact, this indicates a positive catalase result. This test can detect catalase-positive bacteria at concentrations above about 105 cells/mL, and is simple to use.
Neutrophils and other phagocytes use peroxide to kill bacteria. The enzyme NADPH oxidase generates superoxide within the phagosome, which is converted via hydrogen peroxide to other oxidising substances like hypochlorous acid which kill phagocytosed pathogens. In individuals with chronic granulomatous disease (CGD) there is a defect in producing peroxide via mutations in phagocyte oxidases such as myeloperoxidase. Normal cellular metabolism will still produce a small amount of peroxide and this peroxide can be used to produce hypochlorous acid to eradicate the bacterial infection. However, if individuals with CGD are infected with catalase-positive bacteria, the bacterial catalase can destroy the excess peroxide before it can be used to produce other oxidising substances. In these individuals the pathogen survives and becomes a chronic infection. This chronic infection is typically surrounded by macrophages in an attempt to isolate the infection. This wall of macrophages surrounding a pathogen is called a granuloma. Many bacteria are catalase positive, but some are better catalase-producers than others. The mnemonic "cats Need PLACESS to Belch their Hairballs" can be used to memorise the catalase-positive bacteria: nocardia, pseudomonas, listeria, aspergillus, candida, E. coli, staphylococcus, serratia, B. cepacia and H. pylori.
Acatalasia is a condition caused by homozygous mutations in CAT, resulting in a lack of catalase. Symptoms are mild and include oral ulcers. A heterozygous CAT mutation results in lower, but still present catalase.
Low levels of catalase may play a role in the graying process of human hair. Hydrogen peroxide is naturally produced by the body and broken down by catalase. If catalase levels decline, hydrogen peroxide cannot be broken down so well. The hydrogen peroxide interferes with the production of melanin, the pigment that gives hair its color.
Catalase has been shown to interact with the ABL2 and Abl genes. Infection with the murine leukemia virus causes catalase activity to decline in the lungs, heart and kidneys of mice. Conversely, dietary fish oil increased catalase activity in the heart, and kidneys of mice.
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This tab holds the annotation information that is stored in the Pfam database. As we move to using Wikipedia as our main source of annotation, the contents of this tab will be gradually replaced by the Wikipedia tab.
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This tab holds annotation information from the InterPro database.
InterPro entry IPR011614
Catalases (EC) are antioxidant enzymes that catalyse the conversion of hydrogen peroxide to water and molecular oxygen, serving to protect cells from its toxic effects [PUBMED:11351128]. Hydrogen peroxide is produced as a consequence of oxidative cellular metabolism and can be converted to the highly reactive hydroxyl radical via transition metals, this radical being able to damage a wide variety of molecules within a cell, leading to oxidative stress and cell death. Catalases act to neutralise hydrogen peroxide toxicity, and are produced by all aerobic organisms ranging from bacteria to man. Most catalases are mono-functional, haem-containing enzymes, although there are also bifunctional haem-containing peroxidase/catalases (INTERPRO) that are closely related to plant peroxidases, and non-haem, manganese-containing catalases (INTERPRO) that are found in bacteria [PUBMED:14745498]. Based on a phylogenetic analysis, catalases can be classified into clade 1, 2 and 3. Clade 1 contains small subunit catalases from plants and a subset of bacteria; clade 2 contains large subunit catalases from fungi and a second subset of bacteria; and clade 3 contains small subunit catalases from bacteria, fungi, protists, animals, and plants [PUBMED:9287428, PUBMED:12557185].
This entry represent the core-forming domain of mono-functional, haem-containing catalases. It does not cover the region that carries an immune-responsive amphipathic octa-peptide that is found in the C-terminal of some catalases (INTERPRO).
The mapping between Pfam and Gene Ontology is provided by InterPro. If you use this data please cite InterPro.
|Molecular function||heme binding (GO:0020037)|
|catalase activity (GO:0004096)|
|Biological process||oxidation-reduction process (GO:0055114)|
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- alignment generated by searching the UniProtKB sequence database using the family HMM
- alignment generated by searching the NCBI sequence database using the family HMM
- alignment generated by searching the metagenomics sequence database using the family HMM
You can see the alignments as HTML or in three different sequence viewers:
- a Java applet developed at the University of Dundee. You will need Java installed before running jalview
- an HTML page showing the whole alignment.Please note: full Pfam alignments can be very large. These HTML views are extremely large and often cause problems for browsers. Please use either jalview or the Pfam viewer if you have trouble viewing the HTML version
- an HTML-based representation of the alignment, coloured according to the posterior-probability (PP) values from the HMM. As for the standard HTML view, heatmap alignments can also be very large and slow to render.
You can download (or view in your browser) a text representation of a Pfam alignment in various formats:
You can also change the order in which sequences are listed in the alignment, change how insertions are represented, alter the characters that are used to represent gaps in sequences and, finally, choose whether to download the alignment or to view it in your browser directly.
You may find that large alignments cause problems for the viewers and the reformatting tool, so we also provide all alignments in Stockholm format. You can download either the plain text alignment, or a gzipped version of it.
We make a range of alignments for each Pfam-A family. You can see a description of each above. You can view these alignments in various ways but please note that some types of alignment are never generated while others may not be available for all families, most commonly because the alignments are too large to handle.
1Cannot generate PP/Heatmap alignments for seeds; no PP data available
Key: available, not generated, — not available.
Format an alignment
We make all of our alignments available in Stockholm format. You can download them here as raw, plain text files or as gzip-compressed files.
You can also download a FASTA format file containing the full-length sequences for all sequences in the full alignment.
HMM logos is one way of visualising profile HMMs. Logos provide a quick overview of the properties of an HMM in a graphical form. You can see a more detailed description of HMM logos and find out how you can interpret them here. More...
If you find these logos useful in your own work, please consider citing the following article:
This page displays the phylogenetic tree for this family's seed alignment. We use FastTree to calculate neighbour join trees with a local bootstrap based on 100 resamples (shown next to the tree nodes). FastTree calculates approximately-maximum-likelihood phylogenetic trees from our seed alignment.
Note: You can also download the data file for the tree.
Curation and family details
This section shows the detailed information about the Pfam family. You can see the definitions of many of the terms in this section in the glossary and a fuller explanation of the scoring system that we use in the scores section of the help pages.
|Number in seed:||397|
|Number in full:||9928|
|Average length of the domain:||351.00 aa|
|Average identity of full alignment:||43 %|
|Average coverage of the sequence by the domain:||66.86 %|
|HMM build commands:||
build method: hmmbuild -o /dev/null HMM SEED
search method: hmmsearch -Z 45638612 -E 1000 --cpu 4 HMM pfamseq
|Family (HMM) version:||19|
|Download:||download the raw HMM for this family|
Weight segments by...
Change the size of the sunburst
selected sequences to HMM
a FASTA-format file
- 0 sequences
- 0 species
This visualisation provides a simple graphical representation of the distribution of this family across species. You can find the original interactive tree in the More....
This chart is a modified "sunburst" visualisation of the species tree for this family. It shows each node in the tree as a separate arc, arranged radially with the superkingdoms at the centre and the species arrayed around the outermost ring.
How the sunburst is generated
The tree is built by considering the taxonomic lineage of each sequence that has a match to this family. For each node in the resulting tree, we draw an arc in the sunburst. The radius of the arc, its distance from the root node at the centre of the sunburst, shows the taxonomic level ("superkingdom", "kingdom", etc). The length of the arc represents either the number of sequences represented at a given level, or the number of species that are found beneath the node in the tree. The weighting scheme can be changed using the sunburst controls.
In order to reduce the complexity of the representation, we reduce the number of taxonomic levels that we show. We consider only the following eight major taxonomic levels:
Colouring and labels
Segments of the tree are coloured approximately according to their superkingdom. For example, archeal branches are coloured with shades of orange, eukaryotes in shades of purple, etc. The colour assignments are shown under the sunburst controls. Where space allows, the name of the taxonomic level will be written on the arc itself.
As you move your mouse across the sunburst, the current node will be highlighted. In the top section of the controls panel we show a summary of the lineage of the currently highlighed node. If you pause over an arc, a tooltip will be shown, giving the name of the taxonomic level in the title and a summary of the number of sequences and species below that node in the tree.
Anomalies in the taxonomy tree
There are some situations that the sunburst tree cannot easily handle and for which we have work-arounds in place.
Missing taxonomic levels
Some species in the taxonomic tree may not have one or more of the main eight levels that we display. For example, Bos taurus is not assigned an order in the NCBI taxonomic tree. In such cases we mark the omitted level with, for example, "No order", in both the tooltip and the lineage summary.
Unmapped species names
The tree is built by looking at each sequence in the full alignment for the family. We take the name of the species given by UniProt and try to map that to the full taxonomic tree from NCBI. In some cases, the name chosen by UniProt does not map to any node in the NCBI tree, perhaps because the chosen name is listed as a synonym or a misspelling in the NCBI taxonomy.
So that these nodes are not simply omitted from the sunburst tree, we group them together in a separate branch (or segment of the sunburst tree). Since we cannot determine the lineage for these unmapped species, we show all levels between the superkingdom and the species as "uncategorised".
Since we reduce the species tree to only the eight main taxonomic levels, sequences that are mapped to the sub-species level in the tree would not normally be shown. Rather than leave out these species, we map them instead to their parent species. So, for example, for sequences belonging to one of the Vibrio cholerae sub-species in the NCBI taxonomy, we show them instead as belonging to the species Vibrio cholerae.
Too many species/sequences
For large species trees, you may see blank regions in the outer layers of the sunburst. These occur when there are large numbers of arcs to be drawn in a small space. If an arc is less than approximately one pixel wide, it will not be drawn and the space will be left blank. You may still be able to get some information about the species in that region by moving your mouse across the area, but since each arc will be very small, it will be difficult to accurately locate a particular species.
The tree shows the occurrence of this domain across different species. More...
We show the species tree in one of two ways. For smaller trees we try to show an interactive representation, which allows you to select specific nodes in the tree and view them as an alignment or as a set of Pfam domain graphics.
Unfortunately we have found that there are problems viewing the interactive tree when the it becomes larger than a certain limit. Furthermore, we have found that Internet Explorer can become unresponsive when viewing some trees, regardless of their size. We therefore show a text representation of the species tree when the size is above a certain limit or if you are using Internet Explorer to view the site.
If you are using IE you can still load the interactive tree by clicking the "Generate interactive tree" button, but please be aware of the potential problems that the interactive species tree can cause.
For all of the domain matches in a full alignment, we count the number that are found on all sequences in the alignment. This total is shown in the purple box.
We also count the number of unique sequences on which each domain is found, which is shown in green. Note that a domain may appear multiple times on the same sequence, leading to the difference between these two numbers.
Finally, we group sequences from the same organism according to the NCBI code that is assigned by UniProt, allowing us to count the number of distinct sequences on which the domain is found. This value is shown in the pink boxes.
We use the NCBI species tree to group organisms according to their taxonomy and this forms the structure of the displayed tree. Note that in some cases the trees are too large (have too many nodes) to allow us to build an interactive tree, but in most cases you can still view the tree in a plain text, non-interactive representation. Those species which are represented in the seed alignment for this domain are highlighted.
You can use the tree controls to manipulate how the interactive tree is displayed:
- show/hide the summary boxes
- highlight species that are represented in the seed alignment
- expand/collapse the tree or expand it to a given depth
- select a sub-tree or a set of species within the tree and view them graphically or as an alignment
- save a plain text representation of the tree
Please note: for large trees this can take some time. While the tree is loading, you can safely switch away from this tab but if you browse away from the family page entirely, the tree will not be loaded.
There are 6 interactions for this family. More...
We determine these interactions using iPfam, which considers the interactions between residues in three-dimensional protein structures and maps those interactions back to Pfam families. You can find more information about the iPfam algorithm in the journal article that accompanies the website.
For those sequences which have a structure in the Protein DataBank, we use the mapping between UniProt, PDB and Pfam coordinate systems from the PDBe group, to allow us to map Pfam domains onto UniProt sequences and three-dimensional protein structures. The table below shows the structures on which the Catalase domain has been found. There are 419 instances of this domain found in the PDB. Note that there may be multiple copies of the domain in a single PDB structure, since many structures contain multiple copies of the same protein sequence.
Loading structure mapping...