Listeria monocytogenes FrvA (Lmo0641) is critical for virulence in the mouse model and is an ortholog of the Bacillus subtilis Fur- and PerR-regulated Fe(II) efflux P1B4 -type ATPase PfeT. Previously, FrvA was suggested to protect against heme toxicity. Here, we demonstrate that an frvA mutant is sensitive to iron intoxication, but not to other metals. Expression of frvA is induced by high iron and this induction requires Fur. FrvA functions in vitro as a divalent cation specific ATPase most strongly activated by ferrous iron. When expressed in B. subtilis, FrvA increases resistance to iron both in wild-type and in a pfeT null strain. FrvA is a high affinity Fe(II) exporter and its induction imposes severe iron limitation in B. subtilis resulting in derepression of both Fur- and PerR-regulated genes. FrvA also recognizes Co(II) and Zn(II) as substrates and can complement B. subtilis strains defective in the endogenous export systems for these cations. Building on these results, we conclude that FrvA functions in the efflux of Fe(II), and not heme during listerial infection.
© 2016 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.