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J Bacteriol. Feb 1990; 172(2): 572–578.
PMCID: PMC208479

Nucleotide sequences of the sfuA, sfuB, and sfuC genes of Serratia marcescens suggest a periplasmic-binding-protein-dependent iron transport mechanism.


The cloned sfu region of the Serratia marcescens chromosome confers the ability to grow on iron-limited media to an Escherichia coli K-12 strain that is unable to synthesize a siderophore. This DNA fragment was sequenced and found to contain three genes termed sfuA, sfuB, and sfuC, arranged and transcribed in that order. The sfuA gene encoded a periplasmic polypeptide with calculated molecular weights of 36,154 for the precursor and 33,490 for the mature protein. The sfuB gene product was a very hydrophobic protein with a molecular weight of 56,589. The sfuC gene was found to encode a rather polar but membrane-bound protein with a molecular weight of 36,671 which exhibited strong homology to consensus sequences of nucleotide-binding proteins. The number, structural characteristics, and locations of the SfuABC proteins were typical of a periplasmic-binding-protein-dependent transport mechanism. How Fe3+ is solubilized and taken up across the outer membrane remains an enigma.

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Selected References

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