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Microbiol Immunol. 2004;48(5):389-98.

Identification and characterization of two contiguous operons required for aerobactin transport and biosynthesis in Vibrio mimicus.

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  • 1Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Okayama University, Okayama, Japan.


In response to iron deprivation, Vibrio mimicus produces aerobactin as a major siderophore. Application of the Fur titration assay to a V. mimicus genomic DNA library followed by further cloning of the surrounding regions led to the identification of two adjacent, iron-regulated operons. One contains three genes encoding homologs of the Escherichia coli FhuCDB and the other, five genes encoding homologs of the E. coli IucABCD IutA. Construction of the V. mimicus polar disruptants in the respective operons allowed us to confirm their functions. The genetic arrangement of the aerobactin-mediated iron acquisition system in V. mimicus is unique in that the aerobactin operon (iucABCD iutA ) is contiguous to the operon (matCDB ) encoding components of an ATP-binding cassette transport system for ferric aerobactin. This is the first report demonstrating that aerobactin transport and biosynthesis genes are present in a species outside the family Enterobacteriaceae.

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