Processing of heme and heme-containing proteins by bacteria

DNA Cell Biol. 2002 Apr;21(4):281-95. doi: 10.1089/104454902753759708.


An extensive amount of new knowledge on bacterial systems involved in heme processing has been accumulated in the last 10 years. We discuss common themes in heme transport across bacterial outer and inner membranes, emphasizing proteins and mechanisms involved. The processing of heme in the bacterial cytoplasm is extensively covered, and a new hypothesis about the fate of heme in the bacterial cell is presented. Auxiliary genes involved in heme utilization, i.e., TonB, proteases, proteins involved in heme storage and pigmentation, as well as genes involved in regulation of heme assimilation are reviewed.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Bacteria / metabolism*
  • Biological Transport
  • Heme / chemistry
  • Heme / metabolism*
  • Hemeproteins / chemistry
  • Hemeproteins / metabolism*
  • Iron / metabolism
  • Receptors, Cell Surface / metabolism
  • Structure-Activity Relationship


  • Hemeproteins
  • Receptors, Cell Surface
  • heme receptor
  • Heme
  • Iron