Link to Pubmed [PMID] – 19144921
Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. 2009 Jan;106(4):1045-50
Gram-negative bacteria use specific heme uptake systems, relying on outer membrane receptors and excreted heme-binding proteins (hemophores) to scavenge and actively transport heme. To unravel the unknown molecular details involved, we present 3 structures of the Serratia marcescens receptor HasR in complex with its hemophore HasA. The transfer of heme over a distance of 9 A from its high-affinity site in HasA into a site of lower affinity in HasR is coupled with the exergonic complex formation of the 2 proteins. Upon docking to the receptor, 1 of the 2 axial heme coordinations of the hemophore is initially broken, but the position and orientation of the heme is preserved. Subsequently, steric displacement of heme by a receptor residue ruptures the other axial coordination, leading to heme transfer into the receptor.