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Biochemistry. 1999 Jul 20;38(29):9357-65.

Copurification of the FpvA ferric pyoverdin receptor of Pseudomonas aeruginosa with its iron-free ligand: implications for siderophore-mediated iron transport.

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Département des Récepteurs et Protéines Membranaires, UPR 9050 CNRS, ESBS, Strasbourg, France.


The Pseudomonas aeruginosa FpvA receptor is a TonB-dependent outer membrane transport protein that catalyzes uptake of ferric pyoverdin across the outer membrane. Surprisingly, FpvA expressed in P. aeruginosa grown in an iron-deficient medium copurifies with a ligand X that we have characterized by UV, fluorescence, and mass spectrometry as being iron-free pyoverdin (apo-PaA). PaA was absent from FpvA purified from a PaA-deficient P. aeruginosa strain. The properties of ligand binding in vitro revealed very similar affinities of apo-PaA and ferric-PaA to FpvA. Fluorescence resonance energy transfer was used to study in vitro the formation of the FpvA-PaA-Fe complex in the presence of PaA-Fe or citrate-Fe. The circular dichroism spectrum of FpvA indicated a 57% beta-structure content typical of porins and in agreement with the 3D structures of the siderophore receptors FhuA and FepA. In the absence of the protease's inhibitors, a truncated form of FpvA lacking 87 amino acids at its N-terminus was purified. This truncated form still bound PaA, and its beta-sheet content was conserved. This N-terminal region displays significant homology to the N-terminal periplasmic extensions of FecA from Escherichia coli and PupB from Pseudomonas putida, which were previously shown to be involved in signal transduction. This suggests a similar function for FpvA. The mechanism of iron transport in P. aeruginosa via the pyoverdin pathway is discussed in the light of all these new findings.

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