Expression of hydroxamate and phenolate siderophores by Shigella flexneri

S. M. Payne, D. W. Niesel, S. S. Peixotto, K. M. Lawlor

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69 Scopus citations


Shigella flexneri strains were assayed for the ability to synthesize and utilize phenolate and hydroxamate siderophores. The hydroxamate aerobactin was synthesized by all isolates tested, whereas phenolates were only rarely produced. Expression of aerobactin was accompanied by production of a single iron-regulated outer membrane protein (M(r) = 74,000). This protein was not produced by a mutant defective in aerobactin utilization and may serve as the aerobactin receptor. Phenolate (enterobactin)-producing strains synthesized three additional outer membrane proteins (M(r) = 74,000, 81,000, and 83,000) in response to iron starvation. These proteins are the same apparent size as those produced by Escherichia coli K-12 strains. Ent sequences are apparently present in strains which do not synthesize this compound. Although normally silent, ent genes can be activated in Ent- strains to produce Ent+ variants. These laboratory variants are phenotypically indistinguishable from clinical Ent+ isolates.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)949-955
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of bacteriology
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1983
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology
  • Molecular Biology


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