The pesticin receptor of Yersinia enterocolitica: a novel virulence factor with dual function

Mol Microbiol. 1994 Jul;13(2):253-63. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2958.1994.tb00420.x.


The iron-repressible outer membrane protein FyuA of Yersinia enterocolitica operates as a receptor with dual function: (i) as a receptor for the Y. pestis bacteriocin pesticin, and (ii) as a receptor for yersiniabactin, a siderophore that is produced by mouse-virulent Y. enterocolitica strains of biogroup IB. Cloning of the FyuA-encoding gene was achieved by mobilization of a genomic cosmid library of the pesticin-sensitive and mouse-virulent Y. enterocolitica O:8 strain WA into the pesticin-resistant WA fyuA mutant and subsequent in vivo selection of transconjugants for the ability to survive and multiply in mice (phenotype mouse virulence). The reisolated transconjugants which survived in mice for 3 d harboured a unique cosmid and phenotypically were pesticin sensitive. From this cosmid a 2650 bp SalI-PstI fragment conferring pesticin sensitivity was subcloned. Sequencing of this DNA fragment revealed a single open reading frame of 2022 bp, which encodes a deduced polypeptide of 673 amino acids with a predicted molecular mass of 73,677 Da. Cleavage of a putative signal sequence composed of 22 amino acids should lead to a mature protein of 651 amino acids with a molecular mass of 71,368 Da. The open reading frame is preceded by a sequence which shares homology with the postulated consensus Fur iron-repressor protein-binding site. FyuA shows homology to other iron-regulated TonB-dependent outer membrane proteins with receptor functions (e.g. BtuB, CirA, FepA, IutA, FhuA, FoxA, FcuA). On the basis of multiple alignment of amino acid sequences of FyuA and other TonB-dependent receptors, a phylogenetic tree was constructed, demonstrating that FyuA probably belongs to the citrate subfamily or represents a new subfamily of TonB-dependent receptors. Moreover, by complementation of the WA fyuA mutant by the cloned fyuA gene, yersiniabactin uptake and mouse virulence were restored. These studies demonstrate that the cloned pesticin/yersiniabactin receptor FyuA of Y. enterocolitica has the typical features of iron-regulated TonB-dependent outer membrane receptors for siderophores and bacteriocins and is required for mouse virulence.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Animals
  • Bacterial Outer Membrane Proteins / genetics
  • Bacterial Outer Membrane Proteins / physiology*
  • Bacterial Proteins*
  • Bacteriocins / metabolism*
  • Bacteriocins / pharmacology
  • Base Sequence
  • Biological Transport
  • Cloning, Molecular
  • Cosmids
  • DNA, Bacterial / genetics
  • Drug Resistance, Microbial
  • Iron / metabolism
  • Iron-Binding Proteins
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred BALB C
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Open Reading Frames
  • Periplasmic Binding Proteins
  • Phylogeny
  • Receptors, Cell Surface / genetics
  • Receptors, Cell Surface / physiology*
  • Sequence Alignment
  • Sequence Homology, Amino Acid
  • Siderophores / metabolism
  • Virulence
  • Yersinia enterocolitica / chemistry
  • Yersinia enterocolitica / drug effects
  • Yersinia enterocolitica / genetics
  • Yersinia enterocolitica / pathogenicity*


  • Bacterial Outer Membrane Proteins
  • Bacterial Proteins
  • Bacteriocins
  • DNA, Bacterial
  • FyuA protein, Yersinia
  • Iron-Binding Proteins
  • Periplasmic Binding Proteins
  • Receptors, Cell Surface
  • Siderophores
  • yerseniabactin receptor, Yersenia
  • Pesticin
  • Iron

Associated data

  • GENBANK/Z29675
  • GENBANK/Z35485
  • GENBANK/Z35486
  • GENBANK/Z35487
  • GENBANK/Z38064
  • GENBANK/Z38065