Iron Homeostasis in Bacillus subtilis Requires Siderophore Production and Biofilm Formation.
ABSTRACT: Iron (Fe) is the most important metal in biology. Despite its abundance, Fe is mostly present as a ferric form in soils, strongly limiting its bioavailability. To overcome the challenge of Fe acquisition, many microorganisms produce siderophores to retrieve Fe from natural sources. Another ubiquitous feature of bacteria in natural environments is biofilm formation. Previous studies showed that external Fe strongly influenced biofilm formation in several bacteria, suggesting that this microenvironment plays a mechanistic role in micronutrient acquisition for bacteria. Here, we applied a complementary set of analytical methods and deletion mutants to evaluate the role of biofilm formation, siderophore production, and their interaction in Fe homeostasis in Bacillus subtilis We observed that Fe homeostasis, i.e., active growth at a constant intracellular Fe concentration, requires both siderophore production and biofilm formation. Also, we report that in B. subtilis, both biofilm formation and siderophore production are required to achieve active Fe acquisition from the medium and to sustain normal growth. Furthermore, we provide evidence that the formation of biofilm slightly enhances the kinetics of Fe complexation by catechol siderophores and markedly improves siderophore use efficiency. These results provide new perspectives on the mechanism underlying siderophore-based acquisition of Fe in biofilm-forming bacteria.IMPORTANCE Iron acquisition is of fundamental importance for microorganisms, since this metal is generally poorly bioavailable under natural conditions. In the environment, most bacteria are found tightly packed within multicellular communities named biofilms. Here, using the soil Gram-positive bacterium Bacillus subtilis, we show that biofilm formation and the production of siderophores, i.e., small molecules specifically binding metals, are both essential to ensure Fe uptake from the medium and maintain cellular Fe homeostasis. The biofilm matrix appears to play an important role favoring the efficient usage of siderophores. Taken together, our results demonstrate a close link between biofilm formation and iron acquisition in B. subtilis, allowing a better comprehension of how bacteria can cope with metal limitation under environmental conditions.
Project description:Iron is an essential element for all organisms, and microorganisms produce small molecule iron-chelators, siderophores, to efficiently acquire Fe(III). Gram-positive bacteria possess lipoprotein siderophore-binding proteins (SBPs) on the membrane. Some of the SBPs bind both apo-siderophores (iron-free) and Fe-siderophore (iron-chelated) and only import Fe-siderophores. When the SBP initially binds an apo-siderophore, the SBP uses the Gram-positive siderophore-shuttle mechanism (the SBPs exchange Fe(III) from a Fe-siderophore to the apo-siderophore bound to the protein) and/or displacement mechanism (the apo-siderophore bound to the SBP is released and a Fe-siderophore is then bound to the protein) to import the Fe-siderophore. Previously, we reported that the Bacillus cereus SBP, YxeB, exchanges Fe(III) from a ferrioxamine B (FO) to a desferrioxamine B (DFO) bound to YxeB using the siderophore-shuttle mechanism although the iron exchange was indirectly elucidated. Synthetic Cr-DFO (inert metal FO analog) and Ga-DFO (nonreducible FO analog) are bound to YxeB and imported via YxeB and the corresponding permeases and ATPase. YxeB exchanges Fe(III) from FO and Ga(III) from Ga-DFO to DFO bound to the protein, indicating that the metal-exchange occurs without metal reduction. YxeB also binds DFO derivatives including acetylated DFO (apo-siderophore) and acetylated FO (AcFO, Fe-siderophore). The iron from AcFO is transferred to DFO when bound to YxeB, giving direct evidence of iron exchange. Moreover, YxeB also uses the displacement mechanism when ferrichrome (Fch) is added to the DFO:YxeB complex. Uptake by the displacement mechanism is a minor pathway compared to the shuttle mechanism.
Project description:Many bacteria secrete siderophores to enhance iron uptake under iron-restricted conditions. In this study, we found that Cupriavidus necator JMP134, a well-known aromatic pollutant-degrading bacterium, produces an unknown carboxylate-type siderophore named cupriabactin to overcome iron limitation. Using genome mining, targeted mutagenesis, and biochemical analysis, we discovered an operon containing six open reading frames (cubA-F) in the C. necator JMP134 genome that encodes proteins required for the biosynthesis and uptake of cupriabactin. As the dominant siderophore of C. necator JMP134, cupriabactin promotes the growth of C. necator JMP134 under iron-limited conditions via enhanced ferric iron uptake. Furthermore, we demonstrated that the iron concentration-dependent expression of the cub operon is mediated by the ferric uptake regulator (Fur). Physiological analyses revealed that the cupriabactin-mediated iron acquisition system influences swimming motility, biofilm formation, and resistance to oxidative and aromatic compound stress in C. necator JMP134. In conclusion, we identified a carboxylate-type siderophore named cupriabactin, which plays important roles in iron scavenging, bacterial motility, biofilm formation, and stress resistance.IMPORTANCE Since siderophores have been widely exploited for agricultural, environmental, and medical applications, the identification and characterization of new siderophores from different habitats and organisms will have great beneficial applications. Here, we identified a novel siderophore-producing gene cluster in C. necator JMP134. This gene cluster produces a previously unknown carboxylate siderophore, cupriabactin. Physiological analyses revealed that the cupriabactin-mediated iron acquisition system influences swimming motility, biofilm formation, and oxidative stress resistance. Most notably, this system also plays important roles in increasing the resistance of C. necator JMP134 to stress caused by aromatic compounds, which provide a promising strategy to engineer more efficient approaches to degrade aromatic pollutants.
Project description:Small molecule iron-chelators, siderophores, are very important in facilitating the acquisition of Fe(III), an essential element for pathogenic bacteria. Many Gram-negative outer-membrane transporters and Gram-positive lipoprotein siderophore-binding proteins have been characterized, and the binding ability of outer-membrane transporters and siderophore-binding proteins for Fe-siderophores has been determined. However, there is little information regarding the binding ability of these proteins for apo-siderophores, the iron-free chelators. Here we report that Bacillus cereus YxeB facilitates iron-exchange from Fe-siderophore to apo-siderophore bound to the protein, the first Gram-positive siderophore-shuttle system. YxeB binds ferrioxamine B (FO, Fe-siderophore)/desferrioxamine B (DFO, apo-siderophore) in vitro. Disc-diffusion assays and growth assays using the yxeB mutant reveal that YxeB is responsible for importing the FO. Cr-DFO (a FO analog) is bound by YxeB in vitro and B. cereus imports or binds Cr-DFO in vivo. In vivo uptake assays using Cr-DFO and FO and growth assays using DFO and Cr-DFO show that B. cereus selectively imports and uses FO when DFO is present. Moreover, in vitro competition assays using Cr-DFO and FO clearly demonstrate that YxeB binds only FO, not Cr-DFO, when DFO is bound to the protein. Iron-exchange from FO to DFO bound to YxeB must occur when DFO is initially bound by YxeB. Because the metal exchange rate is generally first order in replacement ligand concentration, protein binding of the apo-siderophore acts to dramatically enhance the iron exchange rate, a key component of the Gram-positive siderophore-shuttle mechanism.
Project description:Siderophores are small-molecule high-affinity multidentate chelators selective for ferric iron that are produced by pathogenic microbes to aid in nutrient sequestration and enhance virulence. In Gram-positive bacteria, the currently accepted paradigm in siderophore-mediated iron acquisition is that effluxed metal-free siderophores extract ferric iron from biological sources and the resulting ferric siderophore complex undergoes diffusion-controlled association with a surface-displayed siderophore-binding protein (SBP) followed by ABC permease-mediated translocation across the cell envelope powered by ATP hydrolysis. Here we show that a more efficient paradigm is possible in Gram-positive bacteria where extracellular metal-free siderophores associate directly with apo-SBPs on the cell surface and serve as non-covalent cofactors that enable the holo-SBPs to non-reductively extract ferric iron directly from host metalloproteins with so-called "ferrichelatase" activity. The resulting SBP-bound ferric siderophore complex is ready for import through an associated membrane permease and enzymatic turnover is achieved through cofactor replacement from the readily available pool of extracellular siderophores. This new "iron shuttle" model closes a major knowledge gap in microbial iron acquisition and defines new roles of the siderophore and SBP as cofactor and enzyme, respectively, in addition to the classically accepted roles as a transport substrate and receptor pair. We propose the formal name "siderophore-dependent ferrichelatases" for this new class of catalytic SBPs.
Project description:In microbial communities, bacteria chemically and physically interact with one another. Some of these interactions are mediated by secreted specialized metabolites that act as either intraspecies or interspecies signals to alter gene expression and to change cell physiology. Bacillus subtilis is a well-characterized soil microbe that can differentiate into multiple cell types, including metabolically dormant endospores. We were interested in identifying microbial interactions that affected sporulation in B. subtilis Using a fluorescent transcriptional reporter, we observed that coculturing B. subtilis with Escherichia coli promoted sporulation gene expression via a secreted metabolite. To identify the active compound, we screened the E. coli Keio Collection and identified the sporulation-accelerating cue as the siderophore enterobactin. B. subtilis has multiple iron acquisition systems that are used to take up the B. subtilis-produced siderophore bacillibactin, as well as to pirate exogenous siderophores such as enterobactin. While B. subtilis uses a single substrate binding protein (FeuA) to take up both bacillibactin and enterobactin, we discovered that it requires two distinct genes to sporulate in response to these siderophores (the esterase gene besA for bacillibactin and a putative esterase gene, ybbA, for enterobactin). In addition, we found that siderophores from a variety of other microbial species also promote sporulation in B. subtilis Our results thus demonstrate that siderophores can act not only as bacterial iron acquisition systems but also as interspecies cues that alter cellular development and accelerate sporulation in B. subtilisIMPORTANCE While much is known about the genetic regulation of Bacillus subtilis sporulation, little is understood about how other bacteria influence this process. This work describes an interaction between Escherichia coli and B. subtilis that accelerates sporulation in B. subtilis The interaction is mediated by the E. coli siderophore enterobactin; we show that other species' siderophores also promote sporulation gene expression in B. subtilis These results suggest that siderophores not only may supply bacteria with the mineral nutrient iron but also may play a role in bacterial interspecies signaling, providing a cue for sporulation. Siderophores are produced by many bacterial species and thus potentially play important roles in altering bacterial cell physiology in diverse environments.
Project description:More than 60% of species examined from a total of 421 strains of heterotrophic marine bacteria which were isolated from marine sponges and seawater were observed to have no detectable siderophore production even when Fe(III) was present in the culture medium at a concentration of 1.0 pM. The growth of one such non-siderophore-producing strain, alpha proteobacterium V0210, was stimulated under iron-limited conditions with the addition of an isolated exogenous siderophore, N,N'-bis (2,3-dihydroxybenzoyl)-O-serylserine from a Vibrio sp. Growth was also stimulated by the addition of three exogenous siderophore extracts from siderophore-producing bacteria. Radioisotope studies using (59)Fe showed that the iron uptake ability of V0210 increased only with the addition of exogenous siderophores. Biosynthesis of a hydroxamate siderophore by V0210 was shown by paper electrophoresis and chemical assays for the detection of hydroxamates and catechols. An 85-kDa iron-regulated outer membrane protein was induced only under iron-limited conditions in the presence of exogenous siderophores. This is the first report of bacterial iron uptake through an induced siderophore in response to exogenous siderophores. Our results suggest that siderophores are necessary signaling compounds for growth and for iron uptake by some non-siderophore-producing marine bacteria under iron-limited conditions.
Project description:Siderophores are essential factors for iron (Fe) acquisition in bacteria during colonization and infection of eukaryotic hosts, which restrain iron access through iron-binding protein, such as lactoferrin and transferrin. The synthesis of siderophores by Escherichia coli is considered to be fully regulated at the transcriptional level by the Fe-responsive transcriptional repressor Fur. Here we characterized two different pathways that promote the production of the siderophore enterobactin via the action of the small RNA RyhB. First, RyhB is required for normal expression of an important enterobactin biosynthesis polycistron, entCEBAH. Second, RyhB directly represses the translation of cysE, which encodes a serine acetyltransferase that uses serine as a substrate for cysteine biosynthesis. Reduction of CysE activity by RyhB allows serine to be used as building blocks for enterobactin synthesis through the nonribosomal peptide synthesis pathway. Thus, RyhB plays an essential role in siderophore production and may modulate bacterial virulence through optimization of siderophore production.
Project description:Iron deficiency is one of the main causes of chlorosis in plants, which leads to losses in field crops quality and yield. The use of synthetic chelates to prevent or correct iron-deficiency is not satisfactory mainly due to their poor biodegradability. The present work aimed to search suitable microorganisms to produce alternative, environment-friendly iron-chelating agents (siderophores). For this purpose, the performance of five bacteria (Azotobacter vinelandii, Bacillus megaterium, Bacillus subtilis, Pantoea allii and Rhizobium radiobacter) was evaluated, regarding siderophore production kinetics, level of siderophore production (determined by chrome azurol S, CAS method), type of siderophore produced (using Arnow and Csaky's tests) and iron-chelating capacity at pH 9.0. All bacteria were in stationary phase at 24 h, except A. vinelandii (at 72 h) and produced the maximum siderophore amount (80-140 µmol L<sup>-1</sup>) between 24 and 48 h, with the exception of A. vinelandii (at 72 h). The analysis of culture filtrates revealed the presence of catechol-type siderophores for B. subtilis and R. radiobacter and hydroxamate-type siderophores for B. megaterium and P. allii. In the case of A. vinelandii, both siderophore-types (catechol and hydroxamates) were detected. The highest iron-chelating capacity, at pH 9.0, was obtained by B. megaterium followed by B. subtilis and A. vinelandii. Therefore, these three bacteria strains are the most promising bacteria for siderophore production and chlorosis correction under alkaline conditions.
Project description:The human protein siderocalin (Scn) inhibits bacterial iron acquisition by binding catechol siderophores. Several pathogenic bacteria respond by making stealth siderophores that are not recognized by Scn. Fluvibactin and vibriobactin, respectively of Vibrio fluvialis and Vibrio cholerae , include an oxazoline adjacent to a catechol. This chelating unit binds iron either in a catecholate or a phenolate-oxazoline coordination mode. The latter has been suggested to make vibriobactin a stealth siderophore without directly identifying the coordination mode in relation to Scn binding. We use Scn binding assays with the two siderophores and two oxazoline-substituted analogs and the crystal structure of Fe-fluvibactin:Scn to show that the oxazoline does not prevent Scn binding; hence, vibriobactin is not a stealth siderophore. We show that the phenolate-oxazoline coordination mode is present at physiological pH and is not bound by Scn. However, Scn binding shifts the coordination to the catecholate mode and thereby inactivates this siderophore.
Project description:Siderophore-promoted iron acquisition by microorganisms usually occurs in the presence of other organic molecules, including biosurfactants. We have investigated the influence of the anionic surfactant sodium dodecyl sulfate (SDS) on the adsorption of the siderophores DFOB (cationic) and DFOD (neutral) and the ligand EDTA (anionic) onto goethite (alpha-FeOOH) at pH 6. We also studied the adsorption of the corresponding 1:1 Fe(III)-ligand complexes, which are products of the dissolution process. Adsorption of the two free siderophores increased in a similar fashion with increasing SDS concentration, despite their difference in molecule charge. In contrast, SDS had little effect on the adsorption of EDTA. Adsorption of the Fe-DFOB and Fe-DFOD complexes also increased with increasing SDS concentrations, while adsorption of Fe-EDTA decreased. Our results suggest that hydrophobic interactions between adsorbed surfactants and siderophores are more important than electrostatic interactions. However, for strongly hydrophilic molecules, such as EDTA and its iron complex, the influence of SDS on their adsorption seems to depend on their tendency to form inner-sphere or outer-sphere surface complexes. Our results demonstrate that surfactants have a strong influence on the adsorption of siderophores to Fe oxides, which has important implications for siderophore-promoted dissolution of iron oxides and biological iron acquisition.