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J Biol Chem. 2001 Dec 28;276(52):49244-50. Epub 2001 Oct 22.

Three cell wall mannoproteins facilitate the uptake of iron in Saccharomyces cerevisiae.

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Liver Diseases Section, NIDDK, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland 20892-1800, USA.


Analysis of iron-regulated gene expression in Saccharomyces cerevisiae using cDNA microarrays has identified three putative cell wall proteins that are directly regulated by Aft1p, the major iron-dependent transcription factor in yeast. FIT1, FIT2, and FIT3 (for facilitator of iron transport) were more highly expressed in strains grown in low concentrations of iron and in strains in which AFT1-1(up), a constitutively active allele of AFT1, was expressed. Northern blot analysis confirmed that FIT1, FIT2, and FIT3 mRNA transcript levels were increased 60-230-fold in response to iron deprivation in an Aft1p-dependent manner. Fit1p was localized exclusively to the cell wall by indirect immunofluorescence. Deletion of the FIT genes, individually or in combination, resulted in diminished uptake of iron bound to the siderophores ferrioxamine B and ferrichrome, without diminishing the uptake of ferric iron salts, or the siderophores triacetylfusarinine C and enterobactin. FIT-deletion strains exhibited increased expression of Aft1p target genes as measured by a FET3-lacZ reporter gene or by Arn1p Western blotting, indicating that cells respond to the absence of FIT genes by up-regulating systems of iron uptake. Aft1p activation in FIT-deleted strains occurred when either ferrichrome or ferric salts were used as sources of iron during growth, suggesting that the FIT genes enhance uptake of iron from both sources. Enzymatic digestion of the cell wall resulted in the release of significant amounts of iron from cells, and the relative quantity of iron released was reduced in FIT-deletion strains. Fit1p, Fit2p, and Fit3p may function by increasing the amount of iron associated with the cell wall and periplasmic space.

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