Iron-source preference of Staphylococcus aureus infections

Eric P. Skaar, Munir Humayun, Taeok Bae, Kristin L. DeBord, Olaf Schneewind

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Abstract

Although bacteria use different iron compounds in vitro, the possibility that microbes distinguish between these iron sources during infection has hitherto not been examined. We applied stable isotope labeling to detect source-specific iron by mass spectrometry and show that Staphylococcus aureus preferentially imports heme iron over transferrin iron. By combining this approach with computational genome analysis, we identified hts (heme transport system), a gene cluster that promotes preferred heme iron import by S. aureus. Heme iron scavenging by means of hts is required for staphylococcal pathogenesis in animal hosts, indicating that heme iron is the preferred iron source during the initiation of infection.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1626-1628
Number of pages3
JournalScience
Volume305
Issue number5690
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 10 2004

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Cite this

Skaar, E. P., Humayun, M., Bae, T., DeBord, K. L., & Schneewind, O. (2004). Iron-source preference of Staphylococcus aureus infections. Science, 305(5690), 1626-1628. https://doi.org/10.1126/science.1099930