[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Although the iron uptake and storage mechanisms of terrestrial/higher plants have been well studied, the corresponding systems in marine algae have received far less attention. Studies have shown that while some species of unicellular algae utilize unique mechanisms of iron uptake, many acquire iron through the same general mechanisms as higher plants. In contrast, the iron acquisition strategies of the multicellular macroalgae remain largely unknown. This is especially surprising since many of these organisms represent important ecological and evolutionary niches in the coastal marine environment. It has been well established in both laboratory and environmentally derived samples, that a large amount of iron can be 'non-specifically' adsorbed to the surface of marine algae. While this phenomenon is widely recognized and has prompted the development of experimental protocols to eliminate its contribution to iron uptake studies, its potential biological significance as a concentrated iron source for marine algae is only now being recognized. This study used an interdisciplinary array of techniques to explore the nature of the extensive and powerful iron binding on the surface of both laboratory and environmental samples of the marine brown alga Ectocarpus siliculosus and shows that some of this surface-bound iron is eventually internalized. It is proposed that the surface-binding properties of E. siliculosus allow it to function as a quasibiological metal ion 'buffer', allowing iron uptake under the widely varying external iron concentrations found in coastal marine environments.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Iron is an essential element for all living organisms due to its ubiquitous role in redox and other enzymes, especially in the context of respiration and photosynthesis. The iron uptake and storage systems of terrestrial/higher plants are now reasonably well understood with two basic strategies for iron uptake being distinguished: strategy I plants use a mechanism involving soil acidification and induction of Fe(iii)-chelate reductase (ferrireductase) and Fe(ii) transporter proteins while strategy II plants have evolved sophisticated systems based on high-affinity, iron specific, binding compounds called phytosiderophores. In contrast, there is little knowledge about the corresponding systems in marine plant-like lineages. Herein we report a study of the iron uptake and storage mechanisms in the coccolithophore Emiliania huxleyi. Short term radio-iron uptake studies indicate that iron is taken up by Emiliania in a time and concentration dependent manner consistent with an active transport process. Based on inhibitor studies it appears that iron is taken up directly as Fe(iii). However if a reductive step is involved the Fe(ii) must not be accessible to the external environment. Upon long term exposure to (57)Fe we have been able, using a combination of Mössbauer and XAS spectroscopies, to identify a single metabolite which displays spectral features similar to the phosphorus-rich mineral core of bacterial and plant ferritins.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Iron is an essential element for all living organisms due to its ubiquitous role in redox and other enzymes, especially in the context of respiration and photosynthesis. The iron uptake and storage systems of terrestrial/higher plants are now reasonably well understood, with two basic strategies for iron uptake being distinguished: strategy I plants use a mechanism involving induction of Fe(III)-chelate reductase (ferrireductase) and Fe(II) transporter proteins, while strategy II plants utilize high-affinity, iron-specific, binding compounds called phytosiderophores. In contrast, little is known about the corresponding systems in marine, plant-like lineages, particularly those of multicellular algae (seaweeds). Herein the first study of the iron uptake and storage mechanisms in the brown alga Ectocarpus siliculosus is reported. Genomic data suggest that Ectocarpus may use a strategy I approach. Short-term radio-iron uptake studies verified that iron is taken up by Ectocarpus in a time- and concentration-dependent manner consistent with an active transport process. Upon long-term exposure to (57)Fe, two metabolites have been identified using a combination of Mössbauer and X-ray absorption spectroscopies. These include an iron-sulphur cluster accounting for ~26% of the total intracellular iron pool and a second component with spectra typical of a polymeric (Fe(3+)O(6)) system with parameters similar to the amorphous phosphorus-rich mineral core of bacterial and plant ferritins. This iron metabolite accounts for ~74% of the cellular iron pool and suggests that Ectocarpus contains a non-ferritin but mineral-based iron storage pool.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The iron uptake and storage systems of terrestrial/higher plants are now reasonably well understood with two basic strategies being distinguished: strategy I involves the induction of a Fe(III)-chelate reductase (ferrireductase) along with Fe(II) or Fe(III) transporter proteins while strategy II plants have evolved sophisticated systems based on high-affinity, iron specific, binding compounds called phytosiderophores. In contrast, there is little knowledge about the corresponding systems in marine, plant-like lineages. Herein we report a study of the iron uptake and storage mechanisms in the green alga Tetraselmis suecica. Short term radio-iron uptake studies indicate that iron is taken up by Tetraselmis in a time and concentration dependent manner consistent with an active transport process. Based on inhibitor and other studies it appears that a reductive-oxidative pathway such as that found in yeast and the green alga Chlamydomonas reinhardtii is likely. Upon long term exposure to (57)Fe we have been able, using a combination of Mössbauer and X-ray absorption spectroscopies, to identify three metabolites. The first exhibits Mössbauer parameters typical of a [Fe(4)S(4)](2+) cluster and which accounts for approximately 10% of the total intracellular iron pool. The second displays a spectrum typical of a [Fe(II)O(6)] system accounting for approximately 2% of the total pool. The largest component (ca. 85+%) consists of polymeric iron-oxo mineral species with parameters between that of the crystalline ferrihydrite core of animal ferritins and the amorphous hydrated ferric phosphate of bacterial and plant ferritins.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Magnetotactic bacteria form chains of intracellular membrane-enclosed, nanometre-sized magnetite crystals for navigation along the earth's magnetic field. The assembly of these prokaryotic organelles requires several specific polypeptides. Among the most abundant proteins associated with the magnetosome membrane of Magnetospirillum gryphiswaldense are MamB and MamM, which were implicated in magnetosomal iron transport because of their similarity to the cation diffusion facilitator family. Here we demonstrate that MamB and MamM are multifunctional proteins involved in several steps of magnetosome formation. Whereas both proteins were essential for magnetite biomineralization, only deletion of mamB resulted in loss of magnetosome membrane vesicles. MamB stability depended on the presence of MamM by formation of a heterodimer complex. In addition, MamB was found to interact with several other proteins including the PDZ1 domain of MamE. Whereas any genetic modification of MamB resulted in loss of function, site-specific mutagenesis within MamM lead to increased formation of polycrystalline magnetite particles. A single amino acid substitution within MamM resulted in crystals consisting of haematite, which coexisted with magnetite crystals. Together our data indicate that MamM and MamB have complex functions, and are involved in the control of different key steps of magnetosome formation, which are linked by their direct interaction.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Bacteria use small diffusible molecules to exchange information in a process called quorum sensing (QS). An important class of quorum sensing molecules used by Gram-negative bacteria is the family of N-acylhomoserine lactones (HSL). It was recently discovered that a degradation product of the QS molecule 3-oxo-C(12)-homoserine lactone, the tetramic acid 3-(1-hydroxydecylidene)-5-(2-hydroxyethyl)pyrrolidine-2,4-dione, is a potent antibacterial agent, thus implying roles for QS outside of simply communication. Because these tetramic acids also appear to bind iron with appreciable affinity it was suggested that metal binding might contribute to their biological activity. Here, using a variety of spectroscopic tools, we describe the coordination chemistry of both the methylidene and decylidene tetramic acid derivatives with Fe(III) and Ga(III) and discuss the potential biological significance of such metal binding.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Magnetotactic bacteria synthesize specific organelles, the magnetosomes, which are membrane-enveloped crystals of the magnetic mineral magnetite (Fe(3)O(4)). The biomineralization of magnetite involves the uptake and intracellular accumulation of large amounts of iron. However, it is not clear how iron uptake and biomineralization are regulated and balanced with the biochemical iron requirement and intracellular homeostasis. In this study, we identified and analyzed a homologue of the ferric uptake regulator Fur in Magnetospirillum gryphiswaldense, which was able to complement a fur mutant of Escherichia coli. A fur deletion mutant of M. gryphiswaldense biomineralized fewer and slightly smaller magnetite crystals than did the wild type. Although the total cellular iron accumulation of the mutant was decreased due to reduced magnetite biomineralization, it exhibited an increased level of free intracellular iron, which was bound mostly to a ferritin-like metabolite that was found significantly increased in Mössbauer spectra of the mutant. Compared to that of the wild type, growth of the fur mutant was impaired in the presence of paraquat and under aerobic conditions. Using a Fur titration assay and proteomic analysis, we identified constituents of the Fur regulon. Whereas the expression of most known magnetosome genes was unaffected in the fur mutant, we identified 14 proteins whose expression was altered between the mutant and the wild type, including five proteins whose genes constitute putative iron uptake systems. Our data demonstrate that Fur is a regulator involved in global iron homeostasis, which also affects magnetite biomineralization, probably by balancing the competing demands for biochemical iron supply and magnetite biomineralization.
Journal of bacteriology 08/2010; 192(16):4192-204. DOI:10.1128/JB.00319-10 · 2.81 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Growth and cell fractions of the magnetic bacterium Magnetospirillum gryphiswaldense were studied by Mössbauer spectroscopy. In isolated magnetosomes only magnetite particles were observed. The membrane fraction of Magnetospirillum gryphiswaldense contains a ferritin-like component and a Fe2+ species and also magnetite particles smaller than those observed in the magnetosomes fraction. In the cytosol only ferritin was identified.
Journal of Physics Conference Series 03/2010; 217(1). DOI:10.1088/1742-6596/217/1/012020
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: During infection, the phytopathogenic enterobacterium Erwinia chrysanthemi has to cope with iron-limiting conditions and the production of reactive oxygen species by plant cells. Previous studies have shown that a tight control of the bacterial intracellular iron content is necessary for full virulence. The E. chrysanthemi genome possesses two loci that could be devoted to iron storage: the bfr gene, encoding a heme-containing bacterioferritin, and the ftnA gene, coding for a paradigmatic ferritin. To assess the role of these proteins in the physiology of this pathogen, we constructed ferritin-deficient mutants by reverse genetics. Unlike the bfr mutant, the ftnA mutant had increased sensitivity to iron deficiency and to redox stress conditions. Interestingly, the bfr ftnA mutant displayed an intermediate phenotype for sensitivity to these stresses. Whole-cell analysis by Mössbauer spectroscopy showed that the main iron storage protein is FtnA and that there is an increase in the ferrous iron/ferric iron ratio in the ftnA and bfr ftnA mutants. We found that ftnA gene expression is positively controlled by iron and the transcriptional repressor Fur via the small antisense RNA RyhB. bfr gene expression is induced at the stationary phase of growth. The sigmaS transcriptional factor is necessary for this control. Pathogenicity tests showed that FtnA and the Bfr contribute differentially to the virulence of E. chrysanthemi depending on the host, indicating the importance of a perfect control of iron homeostasis in this bacterial species during infection.
Journal of bacteriology 04/2008; 190(5):1518-30. DOI:10.1128/JB.01640-07 · 2.81 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Iron-uptake is well studied in a plethora of pro- and eukaryotic organisms with the exception of Archaea, which thrive mainly in extreme environments. In this study, the mechanism of iron transport in the extremely halophilic Euryarchaeon Halobacterium salinarum strain JW 5 was analyzed. Under low-iron growth conditions no siderophores were detectable in culture supernatants. However, various xenosiderophores support growth of H. salinarum. In [55Fe]-[14C] double-label experiments, H. salinarum displays uptake of iron but not of the chelator citrate. Uptake of iron was inhibited by cyanide and at higher concentrations by Ga. Furthermore, a K(M) for iron uptake in cells of 2.36 microM and a Vmax of approximately 67 pmol Fe/min/mg protein was determined. [55Fe]-uptake kinetics were measured in the absence and presence of Ga. Uptake of iron was inhibited merely at very high Ga concentrations. The results indicate an energy dependent iron uptake process in H. salinarum and suggest reduction of the metal at the membrane level.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: A time-resolved study of magnetite formation in magnetotactic bacteria has shown that magnetite biomineralization proceeds first by coprecipitation of Fe2+ and Fe3+ ions and then via small magnetite crystallites (see picture) within invaginating magnetosomes associated with the cell membrane, which further develop into mature crystals after magnetosome vesicles are released from the cell membrane. (Figure Presented)
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Very recently, an iron-rich protein, DpsA, was isolated from the extreme halophilic euryarchaeon Halobacterium salinarum JW5 and characterized. The amino acid sequence of DpsA is related to Dps proteins which belong structurally to the ferritin superfamily but differ from ferritins in their function and regulation. Employing Northern and Western blot analysis, the expression of DpsA in H. salinarum was examined throughout all growth phases and under a variety of growth conditions (iron deficiency, iron supplied growth, oxidative stress). DpsA shows increasing expression of dpsA mRNA in iron rich media and under conditions of oxidative stress (H2O2), whereas under iron deficient conditions mRNA-levels decrease. This is in contrast to Dps-type proteins the transcription of which is induced under conditions of iron starvation. Northern blot experiments show that the expression pattern of halobacterial DpsA is the same as that found in the few bacterial non-heme ferritin the expression pattern of which has been analyzed so far. Based on Western-blot analysis post-transcriptional regulation, typical of mammalian ferritins, can be excluded. This protein exhibits features of a non-heme type bacterial ferritin although it shares only little sequence similarity with Ftn from E. coli.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Carbamoylphosphate has been shown to be the educt for the synthesis of the CN ligands of the NiFe metal centre of hydrogenases from Escherichia coli. In the absence of carbamoylphosphate, cells accumulate a complex of two hydrogenase maturation proteins, namely HypC and HypD for the synthesis of hydrogenase 3. A procedure for the purification of wild-type HypD protein or of a biologically active derivative carrying the Strep-tagII((R)) at the N terminus has been developed. HypD is a monomeric protein possessing about 4 mol of iron per mol of protein. Electron paramagnetic resonance (EPR) and Mossbauer spectroscopy demonstrated that the iron is present as a diamagnetic [4Fe-4S](2+) cluster. The complex between HypC and HypD can be cross-linked by a number of thiol and primary amine-specific linkers. When HypD and HypC were overproduced side-by-side with HypE, the HypC-HypD complex contained substoichiometric amounts of HypE whose proportion in the complex could be augmented when HypF was also overproduced. HypE trapped in this complex could be carbamoylated by protein HypF and after dehydration transferred the cyano group to the HypC-HypD part of the complex. Free HypC and HypD were not cyanated by HypE-CN. An active HypC-HypD complex from anaerobic cells was inactivated by incubation with K(3)[Fe(CN)(6)] but not with K(4)[Fe(CN)(6)]. The results suggest the existence of a dynamic complex between the hydrogenase maturation proteins HypD, HypC, HypE and HypF, which is the site of ligand biosynthesis and attachment to the iron atom of the NiFe site in hydrogenase 3.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: FhuF is a cytoplasmic 2Fe-2S protein of Escherichia coli loosely associated with the cytoplasmic membrane. E. coli fhuF mutants showed reduced growth on plates with ferrioxamine B as the sole iron source, although siderophore uptake was not defective in transport experiments. Removal of iron from coprogen, ferrichrome, and ferrioxamine B was significantly lower in fhuF mutants compared to the corresponding parental strains, which suggested that FhuF is involved in iron removal from these hydroxamate-type siderophores. A redox potential E(1/2) of -310 +/- 25 mV relative to the normal hydrogen electrode was determined for FhuF by EPR redox titration; this redox potential is sufficient to reduce the siderophores coprogen and ferrichrome. Mössbauer spectra revealed that FhuF in its [Fe(2+)-Fe(3+)] state is also capable of direct reduction of ferrioxamine B-bound ferric iron, thus proving its reductase function. This is the first report on a bacterial siderophore-iron reductase which in vivo seems to be specific for a certain group of hydroxamates.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The effects of iron limitation on the electron transport chain of the extremely halophilic Euryarchaeon Halobacterium salinarum were analyzed. When iron was growth-limiting, the respiratory rates as well as the inhibition pattern of the membranes were significantly different from membranes of iron replete cells. Changes in the availability of iron cause the formation of different respiratory pathways including different entry sites for electrons, different terminal oxidases of the respiratory chain, and drastic changes of the cytochrome composition and of the relative amounts of cytochromes. Under iron-limiting conditions, mainly low-potential cytochromes were measured. EPR spectroscopic studies revealed that the amount of proteins containing iron-sulfur clusters is reduced in membranes under iron-limiting growth conditions. Taken together, our results strongly suggest for the first time an important role of iron supply for the bioenergetics of an Archaeon.