The ability of various haem-and non-haem-iron-containing compounds to support the growth of iron-limited cultures of was assessed in a plate bioassay. Only haemin or the haem-containing proteins, bovine haemoglobin, human haemoglobin and bovine catalase, but not equine cytochrome C, were capable of serving as the sole exogenous iron source. Complexes of haptoglobin-haemoglobin and haem-serum albumin retained the ability to function as iron substrates. In contrast, no growth was observed with FeCI, human lactoferrin and human transferrin. Siderophore production was not detected with a universal chemical assay. Outer-membrane-protein profiles derived from iron-starved cultures revealed four iron-regulated polypeptides of 65, 50, 40·5 and 40·5 Kda. These results indicate that haem can supply the requisite iron for growth of .


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