The genes for transport and synthesis of the phenolate siderophore enterobactin are present on the chromosomes of both Ent+ and Ent- clinical isolates of Shigella flexneri. To determine why Ent- S. flexneri isolates fail to express a functional enterobactin system, the structure and expression of enterobactin genes were examined. Several alterations may be responsible for the inability of S. flexneri to express enterobactin. (i) The mRNA levels produced from the entC and fepB genes were not derepressed in low-iron media. (ii) DNA sequence analysis of the entC-fepB intergenic region revealed an 83-bp noncontiguous deletion in the putative fepB leader sequence. The deleted sequences are in a region which would be capable of forming extensive stem-and-loop structures. (iii) An amber codon in the 5' portion of the entC gene was also detected. (iv) An IS1 element, previously mapped to the Ent- S. flexneri enterobactin gene cluster, was found to lie within a potential transcriptional termination sequence in the entF-fepE intergenic region. (v) A mutation responsible for the inactivation of the entF gene was mapped to the entF coding region by using entF hybrid gene fusions. (vi) A comparison of outer membrane profiles from an E. coli strain harboring the cloned fepA gene from either an Ent+ or Ent- Shigella isolate revealed that the Ent- FepA protein is present in the outer membrane but at greatly reduced levels than that of the Ent+ FepA protein. This observation, along with additional studies, suggests that the Ent- FepA may be defective in translation and/or translocation.
N5-Acetyl-N5-hydroxy-L-ornithine (1), the key constituent of several microbial siderophores, has been synthesized in 23% yield overall from N-Cbz-L-glutamic acid 1-tert-butyl ester (6) derived from L-glutamic acid. Reduction of 6 to 7 and treatment with N-[(trichloroethoxy)carbonyl]-O-benzylhydroxylamine (8), and diethyl azodicarboxylate and triphenylphosphine followed by deprotection produced the protected N5-acetyl-N5-hydroxy-L-ornithine derivatives 11 and 12 in large quantities (10-20 g). Following alpha-amino and alpha-carboxyl deprotections of 11 and 12, EEDQ [2-ethoxy-N-(ethoxycarbonyl)-1,2-dihydroquinoline] mediated peptide coupling and final deprotection provided amino acid 1 and six albomycin-like peptides (20, 23, 25, 28, 35, and 36). The growth-promoting ability of each was evaluated with the siderophore biosynthesis mutant Shigella flexneri SA240 (SA 100 iucD:Tn5). These results indicate that substantial modification of the framework of peptide-based siderophores can be tolerated by microbial iron-transport systems.
Many isolates of the Aeromonas species produce amonabactin, a phenolate siderophore containing 2,3-dihydroxybenzoic acid (2,3-DHB). An amonabactin biosynthetic gene (amoA) was identified (in a Sau3A1 gene library of Aeromonas hydrophila 495A2 chromosomal DNA) by its complementation of the requirement of Escherichia coli SAB11 for exogenous 2,3-DHB to support siderophore (enterobactin) synthesis. The gene amoA was subcloned as a SalI-HindIII 3.4-kb DNA fragment into pSUP202, and the complete nucleotide sequence of amoA was determined. A putative iron-regulatory sequence resembling the Fur repressor protein-binding site overlapped a possible promoter region. A translational reading frame, beginning with valine and encoding 396 amino acids, was open for 1,188 bp. The C-terminal portion of the deduced amino acid sequence showed 58% identity and 79% similarity with the E. coli EntC protein (isochorismate synthetase), the first enzyme in the E. coli 2,3-DHB biosynthetic pathway, suggesting that amoA probably encodes a step in 2,3-DHB biosynthesis and is the A. hydrophila equivalent of the E. coli entC gene. An isogenic amonabactin-negative mutant, A. hydrophila SB22, was isolated after marker exchange mutagenesis with Tn5-inactivated amoA (amoA::Tn5). The mutant excreted neither 2,3-DHB nor amonabactin, was more sensitive than the wild-type to growth inhibition by iron restriction, and used amonabactin to overcome iron starvation.
The iron uptake systems of Plesiomonas shigelloides strains were determined. Siderophore production was not detected by chemical or biological assays, and the strains tested were unable to use enterobactin, aerobactin, or vibriobactin for growth in low-iron media. Both hemin and hemoglobin supported full growth of the bacteria in media lacking other iron sources, but neither transferrin nor lactoferrin served as a source of iron. Hemolysin was detected, and the production of hemolysin was iron repressible. DNA sequences encoding hemolysin production and DNA sequences encoding the ability to use heme or hemoglobin as a sole source of iron were cloned from P. shigelloides and expressed in Escherichia coli. The abilities to use heme and hemoglobin as iron sources were closely linked, and the cloned sequences encoded the ability to transport the porphyrin, as well as iron, into the cells.
N5-Acetyl-N5-hydroxy-L-ornithyl-N5-acetyl-N5-hydroxy-L-ornithyl-N5-acety l- N5-hydroxy-L-ornithine, the functionally instrumental component of the albomycins and ferrichromes, has been incorporated as a "carrier" substructure into both carbacephalosporin and oxamazin type beta-lactam antibiotics. The previously synthesized protected version of this tripeptide (14) was coupled with various beta-lactam analogues 17, 19, 24, and 25 to give protected conjugates 21, 22, 26, and 27. Final deprotection by hydrogenolysis provided the deprotected siderophore-beta-lactam antibiotic conjugates 1-4. The growth-promoting ability of each has been evaluated using either the siderophore-deficient mutant Shigella flexneri SA 100 or S. flexneri SA240 (SA 100 iucD:Tn5). Measurement of the growth-promoting activity using two isogenic Escherichia coli strains differing only in the presence or absence of fhuA (hydroxamate ferrichrome receptor) suggests uptake by the hydroxamate iron-transport system. The antibacterial activity of these conjugates has been investigated, and the potential for use of the ferrichrome iron-transport system as a means of drug delivery is discussed.
The 11-day-old chicken embryo has been shown to be a useful animal model for comparing the virulence of human isolates of Campylobacter jejuni. Virulence in this system is associated with the ability to invade the chorioallantoic membrane and to survive and proliferate in vivo. In this study, the survival and multiplication of C. jejuni in the embryonic host was investigated. It was possible to enhance the virulence of a relatively avirulent C. jejuni strain by passaging it intravenously through the embryos. The resulting isogenic variants demonstrated enhanced abilities to survive in vivo but were still unable to invade when inoculated onto the chorioallantoic membrane. The bloodstream clearance of C. jejuni was studied, and virulent, but not avirulent, strains persisted and multiplied both in the bloodstream and in embryonic liver. Virulent strains also were cleared significantly more slowly from the bloodstream of adult BALB/c mice after intravenous challenge than were avirulent strains. C. jejuni strains which were cleared slowly in vivo were also ingested slowly in vitro by mouse peritoneal macrophages. Clearance studies in mice pretreated with cobra venom factor demonstrated that opsonization by serum complement was not a prerequisite for clearance of campylobacters from the murine bloodstream.