Iron(III) hydroxamate transport across the cytoplasmic membrane of Escherichia coli

Biol Met. 1991;4(1):23-32. doi: 10.1007/BF01135553.


Transport of iron(III) hydroxamates across the inner membrane into the cytoplasm of Escherichia coli is mediated by the FhuC, FhuD and FhuB proteins and displays characteristics typical of a periplasmic-binding-protein-dependent transport mechanism. In contrast to the highly specific receptor proteins in the outer membrane, at least six different siderophores of the hydroxamate type and the antibiotic albomycin are accepted as substrates. A fhuB mutant (deficient in transport of substrates across the inner membrane) which overproduced the periplasmic FhuD 30-kDa protein, bound [55Fe] iron(III) ferrichrome. Resistance of FhuD to proteinase K in the presence of ferrichrome, aerobactin, and coprogen indicated binding of these substrates to FhuD. FhuD displays significant similarity to the periplasmic FecB, FepB, and BtuE proteins. The extremely hydrophobic FhuB 70-kDa protein is located in the cytoplasmic membrane and consists of two apparently duplicated halves. The N- and C-terminal halves [FhuB(N) and FhuB(C)] were expressed separately in fhuB mutants. Only combinations of FhuB(N) and FhuB(C) polypeptides restored sensitivity to albomycin and growth on iron hydroxamate as a sole iron source, indicating that both halves of FhuB were essential for substrate translocation and that they combined to form an active permease. In addition, a FhuB derivative with a large internal duplication of 271 amino acids was found to be transport-active, indicating that the extra portion did not disturb proper insertion of the active FhuB segments into the cytoplasmic membrane. A region of considerable similarity, present twice in FhuB, was identified near the C-terminus of 20 analyzed hydrophobic proteins of periplasmic-binding-protein-dependent systems.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • ATP-Binding Cassette Transporters
  • Adenosine Triphosphate / metabolism
  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Bacterial Outer Membrane Proteins / genetics
  • Bacterial Outer Membrane Proteins / metabolism
  • Bacterial Proteins / genetics
  • Bacterial Proteins / metabolism
  • Binding Sites
  • Biological Transport, Active
  • Carrier Proteins / genetics
  • Carrier Proteins / metabolism
  • Cell Membrane / metabolism
  • Escherichia coli / genetics
  • Escherichia coli / metabolism*
  • Escherichia coli Proteins*
  • Ferric Compounds / metabolism
  • Ion Pumps*
  • Iron Chelating Agents / metabolism*
  • Membrane Proteins / genetics
  • Membrane Proteins / metabolism
  • Membrane Transport Proteins*
  • Models, Biological
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Periplasmic Binding Proteins*
  • Periplasmic Proteins*
  • Receptors, Virus*
  • Sequence Homology, Nucleic Acid
  • Siderophores


  • ATP-Binding Cassette Transporters
  • Bacterial Outer Membrane Proteins
  • Bacterial Proteins
  • BtuE protein, E coli
  • Carrier Proteins
  • Escherichia coli Proteins
  • Ferric Compounds
  • FhuA protein, E coli
  • FhuC protein, E coli
  • Ion Pumps
  • Iron Chelating Agents
  • Membrane Proteins
  • Membrane Transport Proteins
  • Periplasmic Binding Proteins
  • Periplasmic Proteins
  • Receptors, Virus
  • Siderophores
  • fepB protein, E coli
  • fhuB protein, E coli
  • fhuD protein, E coli
  • FecB protein, E coli
  • Adenosine Triphosphate