BioMetals (v.24, #3)
Biometals 2010 (Tucson, Arizona, USA) by Megan M. McEvoy; Christopher Rensing (377-378).
BioMetals: a historical and personal perspective by Simon Silver (379-390).
Understanding of BioMetals developed basically from a starting point about 60 years ago to current mechanistic understanding of the biological behavior of many metal ions from protein structural and functional studies. Figure 1 shows a Biochemical Periodic Table, element by element, with requirements, roles and biochemistry of the specific ions indicated. With few exceptions, the biology is of the ions formed and not of the elemental state of each. Early BioMetals efforts defined nutritional growth needs for animals, plants and microbes for inorganic “macro-nutrients” such as magnesium, calcium, potassium, sodium, and phosphate and of “micronutrients” such as copper, iron, manganese and zinc. Surprises came early with regard to microbes, for example the finding that Escherichia coli (then and now the standard microbial model) grows happily in the apparent total absence of calcium, sodium, and chloride, which are certainly major animal nutrients. Some elements such as mercury and arsenic are never required by living cells, but are always toxic, often at very low levels. Therefore, the division into nutrient elements and toxic elements came soon. For most inorganic nutrients, excessive amounts can be toxic as well, for example for copper and iron.
Keywords: Nutrient metals; Toxic metals; Mercury; Arsenic; Copper; Magnesium; Iron
The ArsD As(III) metallochaperone by A. Abdul Ajees; Jianbo Yang; Barry P. Rosen (391-399).
Arsenic, a toxic metalloid widely existing in the environment, causes a variety of health problems. The ars operon encoded by Escherichia coli plasmid R773 has arsD and arsA genes, where ArsA is an ATPase that is the catalytic subunit of the ArsAB As(III) extrusion pump, and ArsD is an arsenic chaperone for ArsA. ArsD transfers As(III) to ArsA and increases the affinity of ArsA for As(III), allowing resistance to environmental concentrations of arsenic. Cys12, Cys13 and Cys18 in ArsD form a three sulfur-coordinated As(III) binding site that is essential for metallochaperone activity. ATP hydrolysis by ArsA is required for transfer of As(III) from ArsD to ArsA, suggesting that transfer occurs with a conformation of ArsA that transiently forms during the catalytic cycle. The 1.4 Å x-ray crystal structure of ArsD shows a core of four β-strands flanked by four α-helices in a thioredoxin fold. Docking of ArsD with ArsA was modeled in silico. Independently ArsD mutants exhibiting either weaker or stronger interaction with ArsA were selected. The locations of the mutations mapped on the surface of ArsD are consistent with the docking model. The results suggest that the interface with ArsA involves one surface of α1 helix and metalloid binding site of ArsD.
Keywords: Arsenic; ArsD; Metallochaperone; ArsA; ATP-driven efflux pump
Chromium resistance strategies and toxicity: what makes Ochrobactrum tritici 5bvl1 a strain highly resistant by Paula Vasconcelos Morais; Rita Branco; Romeu Francisco (401-410).
Large-scale industrial use of chromium (Cr) resulted in widespread environmental contamination with hexavalent chromium (Cr(VI)). The ability of microorganisms to survive in these environments and detoxify chromate requires the presence of specific resistance systems. Several Cr(VI) resistant species, belonging to a variety of genera, have been isolated in recent years. Ochrobactrum tritici strain 5bvl1 is a model for a highly Cr(VI)-resistant and reducing microorganism, with different strategies to cope with chromium. The strain contains the transposon-located (TnOtChr) chromate resistance genes chrB, chrA, chrC, chrF. The chrB and chrA genes were found to be essential for the establishment of high resistance but not chrC or chrF genes. Other mechanisms involved in chromium resistance in this strain were related to strategies such as specific or unspecific Cr(VI) reduction, free-radical detoxifying activities, and repairing DNA damage. Expression of the chrB, chrC or chrF genes was related to increased resistance to superoxide-generating agents. Genetic analyses also showed that, the ruvB gene is related to chromium resistance in O. tritici 5bvl1. The RuvABC complex probably does not form when ruvB gene is interrupted, and the repair of DNA damage induced by chromium is prevented. Aerobic or anaerobic chromate reductase activity and other unspecific mechanisms for chromium reduction have been identified in different bacteria. In the strain O. tritici 5bvl1, several unspecific mechanisms were found. Dichromate and chromate have different effects on the physiology of the chromium resistant strains and dichromate seems to be more toxic. Toxicity of Cr(VI) was evaluated by following growth, reduction, respiration, glucose uptake assays and by comparing cell morphology.
Keywords: Chromium; Chromate; Dichromate; Toxicity; Resistant bacteria
Metals on the move: zinc ions in cellular regulation and in the coordination dynamics of zinc proteins by Wolfgang Maret (411-418).
Homeostatic control maintains essential transition metal ions at characteristic cellular concentrations to support their physiological functions and to avoid adverse effects. Zinc is especially widely used as a catalytic or structural cofactor in about 3000 human zinc proteins. In addition, the homeostatic control of zinc in eukaryotic cells permits functions of zinc(II) ions in regulation and in paracrine and intracrine signaling. Zinc ions are released from proteins through ligand-centered reactions in zinc/thiolate coordination environments, and from stores in cellular organelles, where zinc transporters participate in zinc loading and release. Muffling reactions allow zinc ions to serve as signaling ions (second messengers) in the cytosol that is buffered to picomolar zinc ion concentrations at steady-state. Muffling includes zinc ion binding to metallothioneins, cellular translocations of metallothioneins, delivery of zinc ions to transporter proteins, and zinc ion fluxes through cellular membranes with the result of removing the additional zinc ions from the cytosol and restoring the steady-state. Targets of regulatory zinc ions are proteins with sites for transient zinc binding, such as membrane receptors, enzymes, protein–protein interactions, and sensor proteins that control gene expression. The generation, transmission, targets, and termination of zinc ion signals involve proteins that use coordination dynamics in the inner and outer ligand spheres to control metal ion association and dissociation. These new findings establish critically important functions of zinc ions and zinc metalloproteins in cellular control.
Keywords: Zinc; Signaling; Metallothionein; Muffling; Buffering
Bacterial gold sensing and resistance by Susana K. Checa; Fernando C. Soncini (419-427).
Gold ions are mobilized and disseminated through the environment and enter into the cells by non-specific intake. To avoid deleterious effect that occurs even at very low concentrations, bacteria such as Salmonella enterica and Cupriavidus metallidurans use Au-specific MerR-type transcriptional regulators to detect the presence of these toxic ions, and control the expression of specific resistance factors. In contrast to the related copper sensor CueR, the Au-selective metalloregulatory proteins are able to distinguish Au(I) from Cu(I) or Ag(I). This is achieved by finely tuning a single dithiolate metal coordination with conserved cysteine residues at the metal binding site of the proteins to lower the affinity for Cu(I) in comparison to the Cu-sensors, while maintaining or even increasing the affinity for Au(I). In Salmonella, GolS not only privileges the binding of Au(I) over Cu(I) or Ag(I), but also distinguishes its target recognition sites in its regulated promoters minimizing cross-activation of CueR-controlled operators. In this sense, the presence of a selective Au sensory devise would allow species harbouring resident Cu-homeostasis systems to eliminate the toxic ion without affecting Cu acquisition in Au rich environments.
Keywords: Gold sensing and resistance; MerR-regulators; Salmonella Typhimurium; Cupriavidus metallidurans ; GolS; CueR; CupR
Quantitative proteomic profiling of the Escherichia coli response to metallic copper surfaces by Renu Nandakumar; Christophe Espirito Santo; Nandakumar Madayiputhiya; Gregor Grass (429-444).
Metallic copper surfaces have strong antimicrobial properties and kill bacteria, such as Escherichia coli, within minutes in a process called contact killing. These bacteria are exposed to acute copper stress under dry conditions which is different from chronic copper stress in growing liquid cultures. Currently, the physiological changes of E. coli during the acute contact killing process are largely unknown. Here, a label-free, quantitative proteomic approach was employed to identify the differential proteome profiles of E. coli cells after sub-lethal and lethal exposure to dry metallic copper. Of the 509 proteins identified, 110 proteins were differentially expressed after sub-lethal exposure, whereas 136 proteins had significant differences in their abundance levels after lethal exposure to copper compared to unexposed cells. A total of 210 proteins were identified only in copper-responsive proteomes. Copper surface stress coincided with increased abundance of proteins involved in secondary metabolite biosynthesis, transport and catabolism, including efflux proteins and multidrug resistance proteins. Proteins involved in translation, ribosomal structure and biogenesis functions were down-regulated after contact to metallic copper. The set of changes invoked by copper surface-exposure was diverse without a clear connection to copper ion stress but was different from that caused by exposure to stainless steel. Oxidative posttranslational modifications of proteins were observed in cells exposed to copper but also from stainless steel surfaces. However, proteins from copper stressed cells exhibited a higher degree of oxidative proline and threonine modifications.
Keywords: Copper surfaces; Escherichia coli ; Quantitative proteomics; Posttranslational modification
Distorted copper homeostasis with decreased sensitivity to cisplatin upon chaperone Atox1 deletion in Drosophila by Haiqing Hua; Viola Günther; Oleg Georgiev; Walter Schaffner (445-453).
Copper is an integral part of a number of proteins and thus an essential trace metal. However, free copper ions can be highly toxic and every organism has to carefully control its bioavailability. Eukaryotes contain three copper chaperones; Atx1p/Atox1 which delivers copper to ATP7 transporters located in the trans-Golgi network, Cox17 which provides copper to the mitochondrial cytochrome c oxidase, and CCS which is a copper chaperone for superoxide dismutase 1. Here we describe the knockout phenotype of the Drosophila homolog of mammalian Atox1 (ATX1 in yeast). Atox1−/− flies develop normally, though at reduced numbers, and the eclosing flies are fertile. However, the mutants are unable to develop on low-copper food. Furthermore, the intestinal copper importer Ctr1B, which is regulated by copper demand, fails to be induced upon copper starvation in Atox1−/− larvae. At the same time, intestinal metallothionein is upregulated. This phenotype, which resembles the one of the ATP7 mutant, is best explained by intestinal copper accumulation, combined with insufficient delivery to the rest of the body. In addition, compared to controls, Drosophila Atox1 mutants are relatively insensitive to the anticancer drug cisplatin, a compound which is also imported via Ctr1 copper transporters and was recently found to bind mammalian Atox1.
Keywords: Drosophila ; Atox1; Copper; Ctr1B; Cisplatin
Systems biology approach to Wilson’s disease by Jason L. Burkhead; Lawrence W. Gray; Svetlana Lutsenko (455-466).
Wilson’s disease (WD) is a severe disorder of copper misbalance, which manifests with a wide spectrum of liver pathology and/or neurologic and psychiatric symptoms. WD is caused by mutations in a gene encoding a copper-transporting ATPase ATP7B and is accompanied by accumulation of copper in tissues, especially in the liver. Copper-chelation therapy is available for treatment of WD symptoms and is often successful, however, significant challenges remain with respect to timely diagnostics and treatment of the disease. The lack of genotype-phenotype correlation remains unexplained, the causes of fulminant liver failure are not known, and the treatment of neurologic symptoms is only partially successful, underscoring the need for better understanding of WD mechanisms and factors that influence disease manifestations. Recent gene and protein profiling studies in animal models of WD began to uncover cellular processes that are primarily affected by copper accumulation in the liver. The results of such studies, summarized in this review, revealed new molecular players and pathways (cell cycle and cholesterol metabolism, mRNA splicing and nuclear receptor signaling) linked to copper misbalance. A systems biology approach promises to generate a comprehensive view of WD onset and progression, thus helping with a more fine-tune treatment and monitoring of the disorder.
Keywords: Wilson’s disease; Array; Copper; LEC rat; ATP7B; Proteomics
The transport mechanism of bacterial Cu+-ATPases: distinct efflux rates adapted to different function by Daniel Raimunda; Manuel González-Guerrero; Blaise W. Leeber III; José M. Argüello (467-475).
Cu+-ATPases play a key role in bacterial Cu+ homeostasis by participating in Cu+ detoxification and cuproprotein assembly. Characterization of Archaeoglobus fulgidus CopA, a model protein within the subfamily of P1B-1 type ATPases, has provided structural and mechanistic details on this group of transporters. Atomic resolution structures of cytoplasmic regulatory metal binding domains (MBDs) and catalytic actuator, phosphorylation, and nucleotide binding domains are available. These, in combination with whole protein structures resulting from cryo-electron microscopy analyses, have enabled the initial modeling of these transporters. Invariant residues in helixes 6, 7 and 8 form two transmembrane metal binding sites (TM-MBSs). These bind Cu+ with high affinity in a trigonal planar geometry. The cytoplasmic Cu+ chaperone CopZ transfers the metal directly to the TM-MBSs; however, loading both of the TM-MBSs requires binding of nucleotides to the enzyme. In agreement with the classical transport mechanism of P-type ATPases, occupancy of both transmembrane sites by cytoplasmic Cu+ is a requirement for enzyme phosphorylation and subsequent transport into the periplasmic or extracellular milieus. Recent transport studies have shown that all Cu+-ATPases drive cytoplasmic Cu+ efflux, albeit with quite different transport rates in tune with their various physiological roles. Archetypical Cu+-efflux pumps responsible for Cu+ tolerance, like the Escherichia coli CopA, have turnover rates ten times higher than those involved in cuproprotein assembly (or alternative functions). This explains the incapability of the latter group to significantly contribute to the metal efflux required for survival in high copper environments.
Keywords: Cu+-ATPases; Cu+ transport; Cu+ chaperone; Cu+ coordination; Homeostasis
In silico modeling of the Menkes copper-translocating P-type ATPase 3rd metal binding domain predicts that phosphorylation regulates copper-binding by N. A. Veldhuis; M. J. Kuiper; R. C. J. Dobson; R. B. Pearson; J. Camakaris (477-487).
The Menkes (ATP7A) P1B-type ATPase is a transmembrane copper-translocating protein. It contains six similar high-affinity metal-binding domains (MBDs) in the N-terminal cytoplasmic tail that are important for sensing intracellular copper and regulating ATPase function through the transfer of copper between domains. Molecular characterization of copper-binding and transfer is predominantly dependent on NMR structures derived from E. coli expression systems. A limitation of these models is the exclusion of post-translational modifications. We have previously shown that the third copper-binding domain, MBD3, uniquely contains two phosphorylated residues: Thr-327, which is phosphorylated only in the presence of elevated copper; and Ser-339, which is constitutively phosphorylated independent of copper levels. Here, using molecular dynamic simulations, we have incorporated these phosphorylated residues into a model based on the NMR structures of MBD3. Our data suggests that constitutively phosphorylated Ser-339, which is in a loop facing the copper-binding site, may facilitate the copper transfer process by exposing the CxxC copper-binding region of MBD3. Copper-induced phosphorylation of Thr327 is predicted to stabilize this change in conformation. This offers new molecular insights into how cell signaling (phosphorylation) can affect MBD structure and dynamics and how this may in turn affect copper-binding and thus copper-translocation functions of ATP7A.
Keywords: Menkes copper-translocating P-type ATPase; ATP7A; Metal-binding domain 3; Molecular dynamics; Phosphorylation
The many faces of the octahedral ferritin protein by Richard K. Watt (489-500).
Iron is an essential trace nutrient required for the active sites of many enzymes, electron transfer and oxygen transport proteins. In contrast, to its important biological roles, iron is a catalyst for reactive oxygen species (ROS). Organisms must acquire iron but must protect against oxidative damage. Biology has evolved siderophores, hormones, membrane transporters, and iron transport and storage proteins to acquire sufficient iron but maintain iron levels at safe concentrations that prevent iron from catalyzing the formation of ROS. Ferritin is an important hub for iron metabolism because it sequesters iron during times of iron excess and releases iron during iron paucity. Ferritin is expressed in response to oxidative stress and is secreted into the extracellular matrix and into the serum. The iron sequestering ability of ferritin is believed to be the source of the anti-oxidant properties of ferritin. In fact, ferritin has been used as a biomarker for disease because it is synthesized in response to oxidative damage and inflammation. The function of serum ferritin is poorly understood, however serum ferritin concentrations seem to correlate with total iron stores. Under certain conditions, ferritin is also associated with pro-oxidant activity. The source of this switch from anti-oxidant to pro-oxidant has not been established but may be associated with unregulated iron release from ferritin. Recent reports demonstrate that ferritin is involved in other aspects of biology such as cell activation, development, immunity and angiogenesis. This review examines ferritin expression and secretion in correlation with anti-oxidant activity and with respect to these new functions. In addition, conditions that lead to pro-oxidant conditions are considered.
Keywords: Ferritin; Iron storage; Anti-oxidant; Pro-oxidant; Iron-regulation
Heme iron state in various oxyhemoglobins probed using Mössbauer spectroscopy with a high velocity resolution by M. I. Oshtrakh; A. L. Berkovsky; A. Kumar; S. Kundu; A. V. Vinogradov; T. S. Konstantinova; V. A. Semionkin (501-512).
A comparative study of oxyhemoglobins from pig, rabbit, normal human and patients with blood system malignant diseases was performed using Mössbauer spectroscopy with a high velocity resolution at 90 K. Mössbauer spectra were fitted with the help of two models: using one quadrupole doublet (model of equivalent iron electronic structure in α- and β-subunits of hemoglobins) and superposition of two quadrupole doublets (model of non-equivalent iron electronic structure in α- and β-subunits of hemoglobins). The results obtained using both models demonstrated small variations of hyperfine parameters that were related to the heme iron state variation in different hemoglobins. These results were compared with structural and functional differences of the hemoglobins investigated.
Keywords: Heme iron; Oxyhemoglobins; Mössbauer spectroscopy with a high velocity resolution; Quadrupole splitting
Iron acquisition with the natural siderophore enantiomers pyochelin and enantio-pyochelin in Pseudomonas species by Zeb A. Youard; Nicolas Wenner; Cornelia Reimmann (513-522).
The bacterial siderophore pyochelin is composed of salicylate and two cysteine-derived heterocycles, the second of which is modified by reduction and N-methylation during biosynthesis. In Pseudomonas aeruginosa, the first cysteine residue is converted to its D-isoform during thiazoline ring formation, whereas the second cysteine remains in its L-configuration. Stereochemistry is opposite in the Pseudomonas fluorescens siderophore enantio-pyochelin, in which the first ring originates from L-cysteine and the second ring from D-cysteine. Both siderophores promote growth of the producer organism during iron limitation and induce the expression of their biosynthesis genes by activating the transcriptional AraC-type regulator PchR. However, neither siderophore is functional as an iron carrier or as a transcriptional inducer in the other species, demonstrating that both processes are highly stereospecific. Stereospecificity of pyochelin/enantio-pyochelin-mediated iron uptake is ensured at two levels: (i) by the outer membrane siderophore receptors and (ii) by the cytosolic PchR regulators.
Keywords: Siderophore; Pseudomonas ; Enantiomer; Pyochelin; Enantio-pyochelin; Stereospecificity
A proteome analysis of the response of a Pseudomonas aeruginosa oxyR mutant to iron limitation by Tiffany Vinckx; Qing Wei; Sandra Matthijs; Jean-Paul Noben; Ruth Daniels; Pierre Cornelis (523-532).
In Pseudomonas aeruginosa the response to oxidative stress is orchestrated by the LysR regulator OxyR by activation of the transcription of two catalase genes (katA and katB), of the alkyl-hydroxyperoxidases ahpCF and ahpB. Next to the expected high sensitivity to oxidative stress generated by reactive oxygen species (ROS: H2O2, O2 −), the oxyR mutant shows a defective growth under conditions of iron limitation (Vinckx et al. 2008). Although production and uptake of the siderophore pyoverdine is not affected by the absence of oxyR, the mutant is unable to satisfy its need for iron when grown under iron limiting conditions. In order to get a better insight into the effects caused by iron limitation on the physiological response of the oxyR mutant we decided to compare the proteomes of the wild type and the mutant grown in the iron-poor casamino acids medium (CAA), in CAA plus H2O2, and in CAA plus the strong iron chelator ethylenediamine-N,N′-bis(2-hydroxyphenylacetic acid) (EDDHA). Especially in the presence of hydrogen peroxide the oxyR cells increase the production of stress proteins (Dps and IbpA). The superoxide dismutase SodM is produced in higher amounts in the oxyR mutant grown in CAA plus H2O2. The PchB protein, a isochorismate-pyruvate lyase involved in the siderophore pyochelin biosynthesis is not detectable in the extracts from the oxyR mutant grown in the presence of hydrogen peroxide. When cells were grown in the presence of EDDHA, we observed a reduction of the ferric uptake regulator (Fur), and an increase in the two subunits of the succinyl-CoA synthetase and the fumarase FumC1.
Keywords: Pseudomonas aeruginosa ; oxyR ; Oxidative stress; Iron limitation; Proteome
Mechanisms of iron import in anthrax by Erin Sarah Honsa; Anthony William Maresso (533-545).
During an infection, bacterial pathogens must acquire iron from the host to survive. However, free iron is sequestered in host proteins, which presents a barrier to iron-dependent bacterial replication. In response, pathogens have developed mechanisms to acquire iron from the host during infection. Interestingly, a significant portion of the iron pool is sequestered within heme, which is further bound to host proteins such as hemoglobin. The copious amount of heme–iron makes hemoglobin an ideal molecule for targeted iron uptake during infection. While the study of heme acquisition is well represented in Gram-negative bacteria, the systems and mechanism of heme uptake in Gram-positive bacteria has only recently been investigated. Bacillus anthracis, the causative agent of anthrax disease, represents an excellent model organism to study iron acquisition processes owing to a multifaceted lifecycle consisting of intra- and extracellular phases and a tremendous replicative potential upon infection. This review provides an in depth description of the current knowledge of B. anthracis iron acquisition and applies these findings to a general understanding of how pathogenic Gram-positive bacteria transport this critical nutrient during infection.
Keywords: Iron acquisition; Bacillus anthracis ; Heme; NEAT; Isd
War-Fe-re: iron at the core of fungal virulence and host immunity by Tracy Nevitt (547-558).
Iron acquisition is a bona fide virulence determinant. The successful colonization of the mammalian host requires that microorganisms overcome the Fe aridity of this milieu in which the levels of circulating Fe are maintained exceedingly low both through the compartmentalization of this nutrient within cells as well as the tight binding of Fe to host circulating proteins and ligands. Microbes notoriously employ multiple strategies for high affinity Fe acquisition from the host that rely either on the expression of receptors for host Fe-binding proteins and ligands, its reduction by cell surface reductases or the utilization of siderophores, small organic molecules with very high affinity for Fe3+. This review will discuss the multiple mechanisms deployed by fungal pathogens in Fe acquisition focusing on the role of siderophore utilization in virulence as well as host immune strategies of iron withholding and emerging clinical evidence that human disorders of Fe homeostasis can act as modifiers of infectious disease.
Keywords: Fungal pathogenesis; Iron; Siderophores; Hereditary hemochromatosis
Power plays: iron transport and energy transduction in pathogenic vibrios by Ryan J. Kustusch; Carole J. Kuehl; Jorge H. Crosa (559-566).
The Vibrios are a unique group of bacteria inhabiting a vast array of aquatic environments. Many Vibrio species are capable of infecting a wide assortment of hosts. Some of these species include V. parahaemolyticus, V. alginolyticus, V. vulnificus, V. anguillarum, and V. cholerae. The ability of these organisms to utilize iron is essential in establishing both an infection in their hosts as well as surviving in the environment. Bacteria are able to sequester iron through the secretion of low molecular weight iron chelators termed siderophores. The iron-siderophore complexes are bound by specific outer membrane receptors and are brought through both the outer and inner membranes of the cell. The energy needed to drive this active transport is achieved through the TonB energy transduction system. When first elucidated in E. coli, the TonB system was shown to be a three protein complex consisting of TonB, ExbB and ExbD. Most Vibrio species carry two TonB systems. The second TonB system includes a fourth protein; TtpC, which is essential for TonB2 mediated iron transport. Some Vibrio species have been shown to carry a third TonB system that also includes a TtpC protein.
Keywords: Vibrio; Iron; TonB; TtpC
Intestinal iron absorption during suckling in mammals by David M. Frazer; Deepak Darshan; Gregory J. Anderson (567-574).
The maintenance of appropriate iron levels is important for mammalian health, particularly during the rapid growth period following birth. Too little iron can lead to irreversible damage to the developing central nervous system and too much iron at this point can have adverse long term consequences, possibly due to excessive free radical production. In order to maintain iron levels, intestinal iron absorption is very efficient in young mammals, such that almost all of the iron in breast milk is utilized. However this high level of absorption is unable to be down regulated in response to excess iron as it can be in adults, implying that different regulatory processes are involved during suckling. Various mechanisms have been proposed to explain this high absorption, including enhanced expression of the proteins involved in iron absorption in adults (particularly DMT1 and ferroportin), non-specific uptake via pinocytosis, and the uptake of lactoferrin bound iron by the lactoferrin receptor. However, at present the precise mechanism is unclear. It is possible that all of these components contribute to the high intestinal iron absorption seen during suckling, or a novel, as yet undescribed, mechanism could be involved. This review summarises the evidence for and against each of the mechanisms described above and highlights how little is known about iron homeostasis in this vital stage of development.
Keywords: Iron absorption; Suckling; Ferroportin; Lactoferrin; Pinocytosis
Influence of Methylobacterium on iron translocation in plants by Yvonne M. Bishop; Larry L. Barton; Gordon V. Johnson (575-580).
Iron metabolism in plants is essential to maintain optimal growth and iron nutrition is dependent on uptake of iron from the environment and movement of iron in the plant tissues. We have examined the translocation of iron in plant leaves following foliar application of FeEDTA to Vicia faba and Zea mays. Using radiolabeled iron, we observed that iron translocation is stimulated by products of Methylobacterium mesophylicum and by the cytokinin, kinetin. When cytokinins were applied to leaves along with 55FeEDTA, the rate of iron translocation was greater than in controls without cytokinin addition. Since recent studies indicate that M. mesophylicum is widely distributed in the environment as a pyllospheric bacterium, this organism may have an important role in enhancing translocation of nutrients in plant leaves.
Keywords: Cytokinins; Iron translocation; Vicia faba ; Zea mays ; Methylobacterium
Announcement: biometals awards (583-583).