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Iron Acquisition By Oral Hemolytic Spirochetes: Isolation Of A Hemin-binding Protein And Identification Of Iron Reductase Activity.

D. Scott, E. Chan, R. Siboo
Published 1996 · Biology, Medicine

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Oral anaerobic spirochetes (OAS) have been implicated in the etiology of periodontal disease. To adapt to the environment of the subgingiva, OAS must be able to acquire iron from limited sources. OAS have previously been shown not to produce siderophores but are beta-hemolytic and can bind hemin via a proteinaceous 47-kDa outer membrane sheath (OMS) receptor. Present studies show that [3H]hemin is not transported into the cytoplasm, that hemin and ferric ammonium citrate, as the sole iron sources, can support the growth of OAS and that protoporphyrin IX and Congo red are inhibitory, thereby implying an important in vivo role for hemin as an iron source. Treponema denticola ATCC 35405 produces an iron reductase. The iron reductase can reduce the central ferric iron moiety of hemin. The 47-kDa OMS hemin-binding protein has been purified to apparent homogeneity by methanol-chloroform extraction of cellular lipoproteins and the use of a hemin-agarose bead affinity column. A model of iron acquisition by OAS is presented.
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