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Rhizobium leguminosarum bv. viciae produces a novel cyclic trihydroxamate siderophore, vicibactin

Dilworth, M.J., Carson, K.C., Giles, R.G.F., Byrne, L.T. and Glenn, A.R. (1998) Rhizobium leguminosarum bv. viciae produces a novel cyclic trihydroxamate siderophore, vicibactin. Microbiology, 144 (3). pp. 781-791.

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Trihydroxamate siderophores were isolated from iron-deficient cultures of three strains of Rhizobium leguminosarum biovar viciae, two from Japan (WSM709, WSM710) and one from the Mediterranean (WU235), and from a Tn5-induced mutant of WSM710 (MNF7101). The first three all produced the same compound (vicibactin), which was uncharged and could be purified by solvent extraction into benzyl alcohol. The gallium and ferric complexes of vicibactin were extractable into benzyl alcohol at pH 5.0, while metal-free vicibactin could be extracted with good yield at pH 8.0. The trihydroxamate from MNF7101 (vicibactin 7101) could not be extracted into benzyl alcohol, but its cationic nature permitted purification by chromatography on Sephadex CM-25 (NH+4 form). Relative molecular masses and empirical formulae were obtained from fast-atom-bombardment MS. The structures were derived from one- and two-dimensional 1H and 13C NMR spectroscopy, using DQF-COSY, NOESY, HMQC and HMBC techniques on the compounds dissolved in methanol-d4 and DMSO-d6. Vicibactin proves to be a cyclic molecule containing three residues each of (R)-2,5-diamino-N2-acetyl-N 5-hydroxypentanoic acid (N2-acetyl-N5-hydroxy-D-ornithine) and (R)-3-hydroxybutanoic acid, arranged alternately, with alternating ester and peptide bonds. Vicibactin 7101 differed only in lacking the acetyl substitution on the N2 of the N5-hydroxyornithine, resulting in net positive charge; it was still functional as a siderophore and promoted 55Fe uptake by iron-starved cells of WSM710 in the presence of an excess of phosphate. The rate of vicibactin biosynthesis by iron-deficient cells of WSM710 was essentially constant between pH 5.5 and 7.0, but much decreased at pH 5.0. When iron-starved cultures were supplemented with potential precursors for vicibactin, the rates of its synthesis were consistent with both β-hydroxybutyrate and ornithine being precursors. At least three genes seem likely to be involved in synthesis of vicibactin from ornithine and β-hydroxybutyrate: a hydroxylase adding the -OH group to the N5 of ornithine, an acetylase adding the acetyl group to the N2 of ornithine, and a peptide synthetase system.

Publication Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation: Centre for Rhizobium Studies
School of Biological Sciences and Biotechnology
Publisher: Society for General Microbiology
Copyright: © 1998 Society for General Mcrobiology
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