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Iron is an essential nutrient that plays a role in bacterial differential gene expression and protein production. Accordingly, the comparative analysis of total lysate and outer membrane fractions isolated from A. baumannii ATCC 19606(T) cells cultured under iron-rich and -chelated conditions using 2-D gel electrophoresis-mass spectrometry resulted in the identification of 58 protein spots differentially produced. While 19 and 35 of them represent iron-repressed and iron-induced protein spots, respectively, four other spots represent a metal chelation response unrelated to iron. Most of the iron-repressed protein spots represent outer membrane siderophore receptors, some of which could be involved in the utilization of siderophores produced by other bacteria. The iron-induced protein spots represent a wide range of proteins including those involved in iron storage, such as Bfr, metabolic and energy processes, such as AcnA, AcnB, GlyA, SdhA, and SodB, as well as lipid biosynthesis. The detection of an iron-regulated Hfq ortholog indicates that iron regulation in this bacterium could be mediated by Fur and small RNAs as described in other bacteria. The iron-induced production of OmpA suggests this protein plays a role in iron metabolism as shown by the diminished ability of an isogenic OmpA deficient derivative to grow under iron-chelated conditions.
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