The eel pathogen Vibrio vulnificus biotype 2 is able to use hemoglobin (Hb) and hemin (Hm) to reverse iron limitation. In this stud, the adjuvant effect of both compounds on eel pathogenicity has been evaluated and confirmed. Further, we have studied the heme-iron acquisition mechanism displayed by this bacterium. Whole cells were capable of binding Hb and Hm, independently of (i) iron levels in growth medium and (ii) the presence of polysaccharide capsules on bacterial surface. The Hb- and Hm-binding capacity was retained by the outer membrane protein (OMP) fraction and was abolished after proteolytic digestion of OMP samples. Western blotting (immunoblotting) of denatured OMPs revealed that two major protein bands of 36 and 32 kDa were involved in both Hm and Hb binding. The expression of these proteins was not affected by iron levels. In addition, V. vulnificus biotype 2 produced extracellular proteases, not regulated by iron, that were active against native Hb. In conclusion, the overall data suggest that the eel pathogen V. vulnificus biotype 2 can obtain iron by means of a mechanism which involves a direct interaction between the heme moiety and constitutive OMPs
To submit an update or takedown request for this paper, please submit an Update/Correction/Removal Request.