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J Gen Microbiol. 1987 Aug;133(8):2107-14.

Iron transport in Mycobacterium smegmatis: occurrence of iron-regulated envelope proteins as potential receptors for iron uptake.

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Department of Biochemistry, University of Hull, UK.


Cell-envelope fractions were isolated from the rapidly growing saprophyte Mycobacterium smegmatis following growth in glycerol/asparagine medium under both iron-limited (0.02 microgram Fe ml-1) and iron-sufficient (2.0 to 4.0 micrograms Fe ml-1) conditions. Examination of these preparations by SDS-PAGE demonstrated the production of at least four additional proteins when iron was limiting. These iron-regulated envelope proteins (IREPs) were ascribed apparent molecular masses of 180 kDa (protein I), 84 kDa (protein II), 29 kDa (protein III) and 25 kDa (protein IV). All four proteins were present in both cell-wall and membrane preparations but spheroplast preparations were devoid of the 29 kDa protein. Attempts at labelling the proteins with 55FeCl3 or 55Fe-exochelin, the siderophore for iron uptake, were unsuccessful, though this was attributed to the denatured state of the proteins following electrophoresis. Antibodies were raised to each of the four proteins: the one raised to protein III inhibited exochelin-mediated iron uptake into iron-deficiently grown cells by 70% but was ineffective against iron uptake into iron-sufficiently grown cells. As exochelin is taken up into both types of cells by a similar process, protein III may not be a simple receptor for iron uptake though the results imply some function connected with this process. The role of the other IREPs is less certain.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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