has an absolute growth requirement for a porphyrin source. This growth requirement can be satisfied by haem, haemoglobin or the haemoglobin–haptoglobin, haem–haemopexin and haem–albumin complexes. A family of proteins, termed the Hgp proteins, which are essential for utilization of the haemoglobin–haptoglobin complex, has previously been identified. A strain lacking the Hgp proteins also has a residual ability to utilize haemoglobin, indicating that additional moieties contribute to haemoglobin utilization. Using a haemoglobin affinity method an approximately 105 kDa protein was isolated. Mutation of the identified gene in an Hgp null background reduced the ability of the mutant strain to utilize haemoglobin . The mutation also resulted in a reduced ability to utilize haem, haem–haemopexin, haem–albumin and haemoglobin–haptoglobin, thus identifying a general aem-tilization rotein (Hup) in .


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