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J Am Chem Soc. 2006 Jan 11;128(1):22-3.

Bacillibactin-mediated iron transport in Bacillus subtilis.

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Department of Chemistry, University of California, Berkeley, CA 94720-1460, USA.


The hexadentate triscatecholamide bacillibactin delivers iron to Bacillus subtilis and is structurally similar to enterobactin, although in a more oblate conformation. B. subtilis uses two partially overlapping permeases (1 and 2) to acquire iron from its endogenous siderophores (bacillibactin and itoic acid). Enterobactin and bacillibactin have opposite metal chiralities, different affinity for ferric ion, and dissimilar iron transport behaviors. The solution thermodynamic stability of ferric bacillibactin has been investigated through potentiometric and spectrophotometric titrations. The addition of a glycine to the catechol chelating arms causes a destabilization of the ferric complex of bacillibactin compared to ferric enterobactin. B. subtilis appears to express a separate receptor for enterobactin (permease 3), although enterobactin can also be transported through the permease for bacillibactin (permease 2).

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