EfeUOB (YcdNOB) is a tripartite, acid-induced and CpxAR-regulated, low-pH Fe2+ transporter that is cryptic in Escherichia coli K-12 but functional in E-coli O157 : H7
Cao, J., Woodhall, M. R., Alvarez, J., Cartron, M. L. and Andrews, S. C. (2007) EfeUOB (YcdNOB) is a tripartite, acid-induced and CpxAR-regulated, low-pH Fe2+ transporter that is cryptic in Escherichia coli K-12 but functional in E-coli O157 : H7. Molecular Microbiology, 65 (4). pp. 857-875. ISSN 0950-382X
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To link to this article DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-2958.2007.05802.x
Escherichia coli possesses iron transporters specific for either Fe2+ or Fe3+. Although Fe2+ is far more soluble than Fe3+, it rapidly oxidizes aerobically at pH >= 7. Thus, FeoAB, the major Fe2+ transporter of E. coli, operates anaerobically. However, Fe2+ remains stable aerobically under acidic conditions, although a low-pH Fe2+ importer has not been previously identified. Here we show that ycdNOB (efeUOB) specifies the first such transporter. efeUOB is repressed at high pH by CpxAR, and is Fe2+-Fur repressed. EfeU is homologous to the high-affinity iron permease, Ftr1p, of Saccharomyces cerevisiae and other fungi. EfeO is periplasmic with a cupredoxin N-terminal domain; EfeB is also periplasmic and is haem peroxidase-like. All three Efe proteins are required for Efe function. The efeU gene of E. coli K-12 is cryptic due to a frameshift mutation - repair of the single-base-pair deletion generates a functional EfeUOB system. In contrast, the efeUOB operon of the enterohaemorrhagic strain, O157:1147, lacks any frameshift and is functional. A 'wild-type' K-12 strain bearing a functional EfeUOB displays a major growth advantage under aerobic, low-pH, low-iron conditions when a competing metal is provided. Fe-55 transport assays confirm the ferrous iron specificity of EfeUOB.