Three outer membrane proteins of Salmonella enterica serovar Typhimurium function as catecholate siderophore receptors. IroN promotes uptake of enterobactin, salmochelins and 2,3-dihydroxybenzoylserine, FepA transports enterobactin and 2,3-dihydroxybenzoylserine, and Cir is a receptor for 2,3-dihydroxybenzoylserine. In addition, all three proteins are required for l-norepinephrine-facilitated iron uptake from transferrin as judged by failure of a fepA iroN cir triple mutant to grow in serum-containing medium in the presence of l-norepinephrine. Moreover, pre-treatment of mice with l-norepinephrine resulted in enhanced systemic spread of the parental strain, but had no effect on the fepA iroN cir mutant. Inoculation of mice with the triple mutant, which is significantly attenuated, elicited a significant protective effect against subsequent challenge with the parental strain.
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