Crystal structure of ferric-yersiniabactin, a virulence factor of Yersinia pestis

J Inorg Biochem. 2006 Sep;100(9):1495-500. doi: 10.1016/j.jinorgbio.2006.04.007. Epub 2006 May 3.


Yersiniabactin (Ybt), the siderophore produced by Yersinia pestis, has been crystallized successfully in the ferric complex form and the crystal structure has been determined. The crystals are orthorhombic with a space group of P2(1)2(1)2(1) and four distinct molecules per unit cell with cell dimensions of a=11.3271(+/-0.0003)A, b=22.3556(+/-0.0006)A, and c=39.8991(+/-0.0011)A. The crystal structure of ferric Ybt shows that the ferric ion is coordinated as a 1:1 complex by three nitrogen electron pairs and three negatively charged oxygen atoms with a distorted octahedral coordination. The molecule displays a Delta absolute configuration with chiral centers at N2, C9, C10, C12, C13, and C19 in R, R, R, R, S, S configurations, respectively. Few of the crystal structures of siderophores have been solved, and those which have been are of simple hydroxamate and catechol types such as ferrioxamine B and agrobactin. To our knowledge this is the first report of the ferric crystal structure of 5-member heterocycle siderophore.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Crystallization
  • Crystallography, X-Ray
  • Ferric Compounds / chemistry*
  • Models, Molecular
  • Molecular Structure
  • Phenols / chemistry*
  • Thiazoles / chemistry*
  • Virulence Factors / chemistry*
  • X-Ray Diffraction
  • Yersinia pestis / chemistry*


  • Ferric Compounds
  • Phenols
  • Thiazoles
  • Virulence Factors
  • yersiniabactin