Iron and pathogenesis of Shigella: iron acquisition in the intracellular environment

Biometals. 2006 Apr;19(2):173-80. doi: 10.1007/s10534-005-4577-x.


Shigella species are able to grow in a variety of environments, including intracellularly in host epithelial cells. Shigella have a number of different iron transport systems that contribute to their ability to grow in these diverse environments. Siderophore iron uptake systems, heme transporters, and ferric and ferrous iron transport systems are present in these bacteria, and the genes encoding some of these systems appear to have spread among the Shigella species by horizontal transmission. Iron is not only essential for growth of Shigella but also plays an important role in regulation of metabolic processes and virulence determinants in Shigella. This regulation is mediated by the repressor protein Fur and the small RNA RyhB.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Bacterial Proteins / genetics
  • Bacterial Proteins / metabolism
  • Biological Transport
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Bacterial
  • Iron / metabolism*
  • Membrane Transport Proteins / genetics
  • Membrane Transport Proteins / metabolism
  • Models, Biological
  • Mutation
  • Shigella / genetics
  • Shigella / metabolism*
  • Shigella / pathogenicity
  • Siderophores / metabolism
  • Virulence / genetics


  • Bacterial Proteins
  • Membrane Transport Proteins
  • Siderophores
  • Iron