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The Pneumococcal Iron Uptake Protein a (PiuA) Specifically Recognizes Tetradentate FeIIIbis- and Mono-Catechol Complexes

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JournalJournal of Molecular Biology
DateAccepted/In press - 5 Aug 2020
DateE-pub ahead of print - 11 Aug 2020
DatePublished (current) - 11 Aug 2020
Early online date11/08/20
Original languageEnglish

Abstract

Streptococcus pneumoniae (Spn) is an important Gram-positive human pathogen that causes millions of infections worldwide with an increasing occurrence of antibiotic resistance. Fe acquisition is a crucial virulence determinant in Spn; further, Spn relies on exogenous FeIII-siderophore scavenging to meet nutritional Fe needs. Recent studies suggest that the human catecholamine stress hormone, norepinephrine (NE), facilitates Fe acquisition in Spn under conditions of transferrin-mediated Fe starvation. Here we show that the solute binding lipoprotein PiuA from the piu Fe acquisition ABC transporter PiuBCDA, previously described as an Fe-hemin binding protein, binds tetradentate catechol FeIII complexes, including NE and the hydrolysis products of enterobactin. Two protein-derived ligands (H238, Y300) create a coordinately-saturated FeIII complex, which parallel recent studies in the Gram-negative intestinal pathogen Campylobacter jejuni. Our in vitro studies using NMR spectroscopy and 54Fe LC-ICP-MS confirm the FeIII can move from transferrin to apo-PiuA in a NE-dependent manner. Structural analysis of PiuA FeIII-bis-catechol and GaIII-bis-catechol and GaIII-(NE)2 complexes by NMR spectroscopy reveals only localized structural perturbations in PiuA upon ligand binding, largely consistent with recent descriptions of other solute binding proteins of type II ABC transporters. We speculate that tetradentate FeIII complexes formed by mono- and bis-catechol species are important Fe sources in Gram-positive human pathogens, since PiuA functions in the same way as SstD from Staphylococcus aureus.

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