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Microbiology. 2009 Oct;155(Pt 10):3157-3165. doi: 10.1099/mic.0.032425-0. Epub 2009 Aug 20.

Pumping iron: mechanisms for iron uptake by Campylobacter.

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Department of Genetics, University of Leicester, Leicester LE1 7RH, UK.


Campylobacter requires iron for successful colonization of the host. In the last 7 years, a wealth of data has been generated allowing detailed molecular characterization of Campylobacter iron-uptake systems. Several exogenous siderophores have been identified as sources of ferric iron for Campylobacter. Ferri-enterochelin uptake requires both the outer-membrane receptor protein CfrA and the inner-membrane ABC transporter system CeuBCDE. Ferrichrome has been shown to support growth of some Campylobacter jejuni strains and the presence of homologues of Escherichia coli fhuABD genes was proposed; the Cj1658-Cj1663 system appears to be involved in the uptake of ferri-rhodotorulic acid. In addition to siderophores, the importance of host iron sources was highlighted by recent studies demonstrating that C. jejuni can exploit haem compounds and the transferrins using ChuABCDZ and Cj0173c-Cj0178, respectively. An additional putative receptor, Cj0444, present in some, but not all, strains has not yet been characterized. Following diffusion through the outer membrane, inner-membrane transport of ferrous iron can occur via the FeoB protein. While it may be assumed that all systems are not essential, there is growing evidence supporting the need for multiple iron-uptake systems for successful host colonization by Campylobacter. In light of this, comparative molecular characterization of iron systems in all Campylobacter strains is necessary to gain further insight into the pathogenesis of members of this genus.

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