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Most species of bacteria employ siderophores to acquire iron. The chirality of the ferric siderophore complex plays an important role in cell recognition, uptake, and utilization. Corynebactin, isolated from Gram-positive bacteria, is structurally similar to enterobactin, a well known siderophore isolated from Gram-negative bacteria, but contains L-theronine instead of L-serine in the trilactone backbone. Corynebactin also contains a glycine spacer unit in each of the chelating arms. A hybrid analogue (serine-corynebactin) has been synthesized. The chirality and relative conformational stability of the three ferric complexes of enterobactin, corynebactin, and the hybrid has been investigated. In contrast to enterobactin, corynebactin assumes a Lambda configuration. However, the ferric serine-corynebactin hybrid forms a racemic mixture, only slightly favoring the Lambda conformation.


Martin E Bluhm, Sanggoo S Kim, Emily A Dertz, Kenneth N Raymond. Corynebactin and enterobactin: related siderophores of opposite chirality. Journal of the American Chemical Society. 2002 Mar 20;124(11):2436-7

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PMID: 11890782

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