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Mol Gen Genet. 1985;201(2):204-12.

Identification of the genes and their polypeptide products responsible for aerobactin synthesis by pColV plasmids.


Iron acquisition via aerobactin enhances the virulence of Escherichia coli. Genes that specify functions for aerobactin synthesis and iron(III)-aerobactin transport have been identified on several ColV plasmids. Previously, we cloned the locus for aerobactin synthesis from pColV-K311 and assigned to three loci termed aerA, aerB, and aerC the functions for hydroxylation of lysine, acetylation of the 6-amino group of 6-hydroxy-lysine and coupling of N-acetyl-N-hydroxy-lysine with citrate, respectively (Gross et al. 1984). In this paper we show that aerA and aerB determine polypeptides with molecular weights of 50,000 and 35,000, respectively. We identified a fourth gene designated aerD that codes for a polypeptide with a molecular weight of 60,000, and which is required for the linkage of one residue of N-acetyl-N-hydroxy-lysine to citrate. The aerC gene product completes aerobactin synthesis by coupling the second N-acetyl-N-hydroxy-lysine to the monoacylated derivative citrate. The order of the genes in the operon was found to be aerD-aerB-aerC-aerA.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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