Iron binding to Azotobacter salinestris melanin, iron mobilization and uptake mediated by siderophores.
ABSTRACT Iron-sufficient Azotobacter salinestris cells bound large amounts of 55Fe to cell-associated catechol melanin in an energy-independent manner. Iron was mobilized from the cell surface by citric acid and transported into the cell in a process that was inhibited by azide, carbonyl cyanide m-chlorophenyl-hydrazone (CCCP), KCl or RbCl, the latter two known to inhibit Na(+)-dependent activities in A. salinestris. Iron-limited cells produced a hydroxamate compound (HDX) which promoted 55Fe-uptake into iron-limited cells in a two step process. Initial uptake was inhibited by azide or CCCP, but not by KCl, while subsequent uptake was blocked by all inhibitors. Citric acid also mediated energy-dependent 55Fe-uptake in iron-limited cells, but initial iron-uptake was less sensitive to CCCP than HDX-mediated iron-uptake. The results show that melanin serves as an iron trap, probably to protect the cells from oxidative damage mediated by H2O2 and the Fenton reaction. A model for HDX siderophore-mediated iron-uptake is proposed which requires energy to concentrate iron in the periplasm and H+/Na(+)-dependent events to bring iron into the cell.
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ABSTRACT: Melanins are enigmatic pigments that are produced by a wide variety of microorganisms including several species of pathogenic bacteria, fungi and helminths. The study of melanin is difficult because these pigments defy complete biochemical and structural analysis. Nevertheless, the availability of new reagents in the form of monoclonal antibodies and melanin-binding peptides, combined with the application of various physical techniques, has provided insights into the process of melanization. Melanization is important in microbial pathogenesis because it has been associated with virulence in many microorganisms. Melanin appears to contribute to virulence by reducing the susceptibility of melanized microbes to host defence mechanisms. However, the interaction of melanized microbes and the host is complex and includes immune responses to melanin-related antigens. Production of melanin has also been linked to protection against environmental insults. Interference with melanization is a potential strategy for antimicrobial drug and pesticide development. The process of melanization poses fascinating problems in cell biology and provides a type of pathogenic strategy that is common to highly diverse pathogens.Cellular Microbiology 05/2003; 5(4):203-23. · 4.81 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Burkholderia cenocepacia is a gram-negative opportunistic pathogen that belongs to the Burkholderia cepacia complex. B. cenocepacia can survive intracellularly within phagocytic cells, and some epidemic strains produce a brown melanin-like pigment that can scavenge free radicals, resulting in the attenuation of the host cell oxidative burst. In this work, we demonstrate that the brown pigment produced by B. cenocepacia C5424 is synthesized from a homogentisate (HGA) precursor. The disruption of BCAL0207 (hppD) by insertional inactivation resulted in loss of pigmentation. Steady-state kinetic analysis of the BCAL0207 gene product demonstrated that it has 4-hydroxyphenylpyruvic acid dioxygenase (HppD) activity. Pigmentation could be restored by complementation providing hppD in trans. The hppD mutant was resistant to paraquat challenge but sensitive to H2O2 and to extracellularly generated superoxide anions. Infection experiments in RAW 264.7 murine macrophages showed that the nonpigmented bacteria colocalized in a dextran-positive vacuole, suggesting that they are being trafficked to the lysosome. In contrast, the wild-type strain did not localize with dextran. Colocalization of the nonpigmented strain with dextran was reduced in the presence of the NADPH oxidase inhibitor diphenyleneiodonium, and also the inducible nitric oxide inhibitor aminoguanidine. Together, these observations suggest that the brown pigment produced by B. cenocepacia C5424 is a pyomelanin synthesized from an HGA intermediate that is capable of protecting the organism from in vitro and in vivo sources of oxidative stress.Journal of bacteriology 01/2008; 189(24):9057-65. · 3.94 Impact Factor