The overlapping roles of manganese and Cu/Zn SOD in oxidative stress protection

Amit R. Reddi, Laran T. Jensen, Amornrat Naranuntarat, Leah Rosenfeld, Edison Leung, Rishita Shah, Valeria C. Culotta

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

79 Scopus citations


In various organisms, high intracellular manganese provides protection against oxidative damage through unknown pathways. Herein we use a genetic approach in Saccharomyces cerevisiae to analyze factors that promote manganese as an antioxidant in cells lacking Cu/Zn superoxide dismutase (sod1Δ). Unlike certain bacterial systems, oxygen resistance in yeast correlates with high intracellular manganese without a lowering of iron. This manganese for antioxidant protection is provided by the Nramp transporters Smf1p and Smf2p, with Smf1p playing a major role. In fact, loss of manganese transport by Smf1p together with loss of the Pmr1p manganese pump is lethal to sod1Δ cells despite normal manganese SOD2 activity. Manganese-phosphate complexes are excellent superoxide dismutase mimics in vitro, yet through genetic disruption of phosphate transport and storage, we observed no requirement for phosphate in manganese suppression of oxidative damage. If anything, elevated phosphate correlated with profound oxidative stress in sod1Δ mutants. The efficacy of manganese as an antioxidant was drastically reduced in cells that hyperaccumulate phosphate without effects on Mn SOD activity. Non-SOD manganese can provide a critical backup for Cu/Zn SOD1, but only under appropriate physiologic conditions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)154-162
Number of pages9
JournalFree Radical Biology and Medicine
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jan 15 2009


  • Free radicals
  • Manganese
  • Nramp
  • Phosphate
  • SOD1
  • Yeast

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Physiology (medical)


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