Author(s): Xu F, Zeng X, Haigh RD, Ketley JM, Lin J
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Abstract The ferric enterobactin (FeEnt) receptor CfrA is present in the majority of Campylobacter jejuni isolates and is responsible for high-affinity iron acquisition. Our recent work and that of others strongly suggested the existence of another FeEnt uptake system in Campylobacter. Here we have identified and characterized a new FeEnt receptor (designated CfrB) using both in vitro and in vivo systems. CfrB, a homolog of C. jejuni NCTC 11168 Cj0444, shares approximately 34\% of amino acid identity with CfrA. Alignment of complete CfrB sequences showed that the CfrB is highly conserved in Campylobacter. Immunoblotting analysis using CfrB-specific antiserum demonstrated that CfrB was dramatically induced under iron-restricted conditions and was produced in the majority of Campylobacter coli (41 out of 45) and in some C. jejuni (8 out of 32) primary strains from various sources and from geographically diverse areas. All of the CfrB-producing C. coli strains also produced CfrA, which was rarely observed in the tested C. jejuni strains. Isogenic cfrB, cfrA, and cfrA cfrB double mutants were constructed in 43 diverse Campylobacter strains. Growth promotion assays using these mutants demonstrated that CfrB has a major role in FeEnt iron acquisition in C. coli. Chicken colonization experiments indicated that inactivation of the cfrB gene alone greatly reduced and even abolished Campylobacter colonization of the intestines. A growth assay using CfrB-specific antiserum strongly suggested that specific CfrB antibodies could block the function of CfrB and diminish FeEnt-mediated growth promotion under iron-restricted conditions. Together, this work reveals the complexity of FeEnt systems in the two closely related Campylobacter species and demonstrates the important role of the new FeEnt receptor CfrB in Campylobacter iron acquisition and in vivo colonization.
This article was published in J Bacteriol
and referenced in Journal of Vaccines & Vaccination