Receptor-Mediated Iron Acquisition from Transferrin in the Pasteurellaceae

  • S. D . Kirby
  • J. A. Ogunnariwo
  • A. B. Schryvers


Iron is an essential growth factor for microorganisms, Its unique redox qualities makes it an important cofactor in many biological processes, including such fundamental functions as respiratory electron transport, energy metabolism and DNA biosynthesis, As such, a continuous supply of iron is crucial in the establishment and maintenance of a microorganism in its environment, Despite its abundance in nature, free Fe3+ is not readily available in aqueous solutions due to the presence of chelating anions and to the formation of insoluble ferric complexes at neutral pH in the presence of oxygen, In the vertebrate host, most iron is intracellular, in the form of ferritin or heme-compounds, making it unavailable to invading pathogens in the extracellular milieu (Otto et al., 1992), Although small amounts of intracellular iron are released in the host in the form of hemoglobin, heme or other complexes as a result of cell lysis, these are readily eliminated by an efficient host hepatocyte scavenging mechanism, In the extracellular compartment, the small amount of iron that is available is complexed by the host glycoproteins, transferrin and lactoferrin.


Transferrin Receptor Neisseria Meningitidis Iron Acquisition Human Transferrin Isogenic Mutant 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1995

Authors and Affiliations

  • S. D . Kirby
    • 1
  • J. A. Ogunnariwo
    • 1
  • A. B. Schryvers
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Microbiology and Infectious Diseases, Faculty of MedicineUniversity of CalgaryCalgaryCanada

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