Identification of a system for hydroxamate xenosiderophore-mediated iron transport in Burkholderia cenocepacia.

Syakira Mohammed Hussein, Aderonke Sofoluwe, Ameya Paleja, Anne Duhme-Klair, Mark S Thomas

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


One of the mechanisms employed by the opportunistic pathogen Burkholderia cenocepacia to acquire the essential element iron is the production and release of two ferric iron chelating compounds (siderophores), ornibactin and pyochelin. Here we show that B. cenocepacia is also able to take advantage of a range of siderophores produced by other bacteria and fungi ('xenosiderophores') that chelate iron exclusively by means of hydroxamate groups. These include the tris-hydroxamate siderophores ferrioxamine B, ferrichrome, ferricrocin and triacetylfusarinine C, the bis-hydroxamates alcaligin and rhodotorulic acid, and the monohydroxamate siderophore cepabactin. We also show that of the 24 TonB-dependent transporters encoded by the B. cenocepacia genome, two (FhuA and FeuA) are involved in the uptake of hydroxamate xenosiderophores, with FhuA serving as the exclusive transporter of iron-loaded ferrioxamine B, triacetylfusarinine C, alcaligin and rhodotorulic acid, while both FhuA and FeuA are able to translocate ferrichrome-type siderophores across the outer membrane. Finally, we identified FhuB, a putative cytoplasmic membrane-anchored ferric-siderophore reductase, as being obligatory for utilization of all of the tested bis- and tris-hydroxamate xenosiderophores apart from alcaligin.

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages17
JournalMicrobiology (Reading, England)
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 8 Jan 2024

Bibliographical note

© 2024 The Authors


  • Ferrichrome
  • Burkholderia cenocepacia/genetics
  • Siderophores
  • Iron

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