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

Iron supply of Escherichia coli with polymer-bound ferricrocin.

Uptake of ferric iron from ferricrocin was studied in Escherichia coli using a polymer-coupled ferricrocin that was unable to penetrate into the cell. Ferricrocinyl polyethylene glycol succinate (Mr 7000 -- 8500) promoted growth of E. coli K-12 AB2847 aroB under iron-limiting conditions. In iron-starved cells, uptake of 55Fe could be demonstrated; the amount of iron accumulated amounted to 10% of that observed with free ferricrocin. The iron supply by ferricrocin bound to polyethylene glycol was strictly dependent upon the functions expressed by the tonA and the tonB genes, as was the iron uptake promoted by free ferricrocin. Polymer-bound ferricrocin protected cells against colicin M and phage T5 by competition for the common tonA-coded outer membrane receptor protein. In addition, the rate of iron transport via the negatively charged ferricrocinyl succinate was as fast as via the neutral ferricrocin molecule. No ligand was found associated with the cells. Penetration of chelator beyond receptor is not necessary for siderophore-mediated iron uptake. It is concluded that sufficient amounts of iron can be released from the polymer complex to satisfy growth requirements.[1]


  1. Iron supply of Escherichia coli with polymer-bound ferricrocin. Coulton, J.W., Naegeli, H.U., Braun, V. Eur. J. Biochem. (1979) [Pubmed]
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