Siderophore-mediated cargo delivery to the cytoplasm of Escherichia coli and Pseudomonas aeruginosa: syntheses of monofunctionalized enterobactin scaffolds and evaluation of enterobactin–cargo conjugate uptake

Zheng, T., Bullock, J. L., & Nolan, E. M.

Journal of the American Chemical Society 134.44 (2012): 18388-18400.

The design and syntheses of monofunctionalized enterobactin (Ent, L- and D-isomers) scaffolds where one catecholate moiety of enterobactin houses an alkene, aldehyde, or carboxylic acid at the C5 position are described. These molecules are key precursors to a family of 10 enterobactin-cargo conjugates presented in this work, which were designed to probe the extent to which the Gram-negative ferric enterobactin uptake and processing machinery recognizes, transports, and utilizes derivatized enterobactin scaffolds. A series of growth recovery assays employing enterobactin-deficient E. coli ATCC 33475 (ent-) revealed that six conjugates based on L-Ent having relatively small cargos promoted E. coli growth under iron-limiting conditions whereas negligible-to-no growth recovery was observed for four conjugates with relatively large cargos. No growth recovery was observed for the enterobactin receptor-deficient strain of E. coli H1187 (fepA-) or the enterobactin esterase-deficient derivative of E. coli K-12 JW0576 (fes-), or when the D-isomer of enterobactin was employed. These results demonstrate that the E. coli ferric enterobactin transport machinery identifies and delivers select cargo-modified scaffolds to the E. coli cytoplasm. Pseudomonas aeruginosa PAO1 K648 (pvd-, pch-) exhibited greater promiscuity than that of E. coli for the uptake and utilization of the enterobactin-cargo conjugates, and growth promotion was observed for eight conjugates under iron-limiting conditions. Enterobactin may be utilized for delivering molecular cargos via its transport machinery to the cytoplasm of E. coli and P. aeruginosa thereby providing a means to overcome the Gram-negative outer membrane permeability barrier.


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