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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Relationship between the transport of iron and the amount of specific colicin Ia membrane receptors in Escherichia coli.

Strains of Escherichia coli K-12 defective in their ability to utilize exogenously supplied iron due to genetic defects in the entF, tonB, fes, or fep gene exhibited elevated levels of the specific outer-membrane receptor for colicin Ia when compared with parental strains. Although entF, fes, and fep strains showed a higher degree of Ia sensitivity than did the parental strains, tonB strains were resistant to colicin action. The colicin insensitivity of tonB strains was not due to hyperproduction of enterochelin. Growth in medium containing 101.8 muM Fe2+ led to a lowering of receptor levels in all the above strains and resulted in decreased colicin Ia sensitivity in all strains except tonB, which was already at maximal resistance. Growth in citrate plus iron (1.8 muM) or in ferrichrome resulted in a substantial reduction in both receptor levels and Ia sensitivity in ent, fes, and fep strains but had no effect on receptor levels in tonB strains. Growth in citrate did not lead to an alteration in receptor levels in a mutant specifically defective in citrate-mediated iron transport. The presence of enterochelin during growth led to a reduction in the number of receptors in the parental and ent strains but not in tonB, fes, or fep strains. Thus, in all cases examined, there was an inverse relationship between the number of colicin receptors per cell and the ability of the strain to take up iron from the growth medium. This suggests that under conditions of iron limitation there is a derepression of colicin Ia receptor biosynthesis. These results may point to a role of the colicin I receptor in iron uptake.[1]


  1. Relationship between the transport of iron and the amount of specific colicin Ia membrane receptors in Escherichia coli. Konisky, J., Soucek, S., Frick, K., Davies, J.K., Hammond, C. J. Bacteriol. (1976) [Pubmed]
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