The 100 kDa haem:haemopexin-binding protein of Haemophilus influenzae: structure and localization

Mol Microbiol. 1994 Sep;13(5):863-73. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2958.1994.tb00478.x.


All Haemophilus influenzae strains have an absolute requirement for exogenously supplied haem for aerobic growth. A majority of strains of H. influenzae type b (Hib) produce a 100 kDa protein which binds haem: haemopexin complexes. This 100 kDa haem:haemopexin binding protein, designated HxuA, was originally detected on the Hib cell surface. Monoclonal antibody (mAb)-based analyses revealed that the HxuA protein was also present in soluble form in Hib culture supernatants. This soluble HxuA protein exhibited haem:haemopexin-binding activity in a direct binding assay. Nucleotide sequence analysis of the hxuA gene from Hib strain DL42, together with N-terminal amino acid analysis of HxuA protein purified from Hib culture supernatant, revealed that this protein was synthesized as a 101 kDa precursor with a leader peptide that was removed to yield a 99 kDa protein. Southern blot analysis of chromosomal DNA from four Hib and four non-typeable H. influenzae (NTHI) strains detected the presence of a single band in each strain that hybridized a Hib hxuA gene probe. Subsequent analysis of these NTHI strains showed that all four strains released into culture supernatant a haem:haemopexin-binding protein that migrated in SDS-PAGE at a rate similar or identical to that of the Hib HxuA protein. A Hib hxuA mutant was used to screen an NTHI genomic DNA library and an NTHI gene was cloned that complemented the mutation in this Hib strain. Nucleotide sequence analysis of this NTHI gene revealed that it encoded a protein with 87% identity to the Hib HxuA protein.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Antibodies, Bacterial / immunology
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal / immunology
  • Base Sequence
  • Genes, Bacterial
  • Haemophilus influenzae / genetics
  • Haemophilus influenzae / immunology
  • Haemophilus influenzae / metabolism*
  • Heme / metabolism*
  • Hemopexin / metabolism*
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Receptors, Cell Surface / chemistry
  • Receptors, Cell Surface / genetics
  • Receptors, Cell Surface / immunology
  • Receptors, Cell Surface / isolation & purification*
  • Sequence Alignment
  • Sequence Homology, Amino Acid


  • Antibodies, Bacterial
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal
  • Receptors, Cell Surface
  • heme receptor
  • Heme
  • Hemopexin

Associated data

  • GENBANK/U08348
  • GENBANK/U08349