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Microbiology. 2003 May;149(Pt 5):1227-38.

Genetic organization of an Acinetobacter baumannii chromosomal region harbouring genes related to siderophore biosynthesis and transport.

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Department of Microbiology, Miami University, Oxford, OH 45056, USA.


The Acinetobacter baumannii 8399 clinical isolate secretes dihydroxybenzoic acid (DHBA) and a high-affinity catechol siderophore, which is different from other bacterial iron chelators already characterized. Complementation assays with enterobactin-deficient Escherichia coli strains led to the isolation of a cosmid clone containing A. baumannii 8399 genes required for the biosynthesis and activation of DHBA. Accordingly, the cloned fragment harbours a dhbACEB polycistronic operon encoding predicted proteins highly similar to several bacterial proteins required for DHBA biosynthesis from chorismic acid. Genes encoding deduced proteins related to the E. coli Fes and the Bacillus subtilis DhbF proteins, and a putative Yersinia pestis phosphopantetheinyl transferase, all of them involved in the assembly and utilization of catechol siderophores in other bacteria, were found next to the dhbACEB locus. This A. baumannii 8399 gene cluster also contained the om73, p45 and p114 predicted genes encoding proteins potentially involved in transport of ferric siderophore complexes. The deduced products of the p114 and p45 genes are putative membrane proteins that belong to the RND and MFS efflux pump proteins, respectively. Interestingly, P45 is highly related to the E. coli P43 (EntS) protein that participates in the secretion of enterobactin. Although P114 is similar to other bacterial efflux pump proteins involved in antibiotic resistance, its genetic arrangement within this A. baumannii 8399 locus is different from that described in other bacteria. The product of om73 is a Fur- and iron-regulated surface-exposed outer-membrane protein. These characteristics together with the presence of a predicted TonB box and its high similarity to other siderophore receptors indicate that OM73 plays such a role in A. baumannii 8399. The 184 nt om73-p114 intergenic region contains promoter elements that could drive the expression of these divergently transcribed genes, all of which are in close proximity to almost perfect Fur boxes. This arrangement explains the iron- and Fur-regulated expression of om73, and provides strong evidence for a similar regulation for the expression of p114.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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