Determination of the Siderophore Produced by the Non- Ribosomal Peptide Synthetase Independent Siderophore Pathway in Staphylococcus aureus H1661
Batts, Tifini L.
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Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus) is a Gram positive bacterium that causes serious illnesses such as pneumonia, meningitis, and skin infections in humans. It thrives on the availability and acquisition of iron, which is a significant factor in the growth and metabolism of the bacterium which leads to its function as a virulence factor in S. aureus infections.1 One mechanism bacterium employ to acquire sufficient amounts of iron is the biosynthesis of siderophores. Past analyses have shown that siderophores are synthesized, depending on available molecular precursors, by either non- ribosomal peptide synthetase (NRPS) or NRPS- independent siderophore (NIS) pathways.2 Manipulation of specific precursors within S. aureus has allowed for the production of the siderophores Aureochelin, Staphyloferrin A, and theoretically Staphyloferrin B by the NIS pathway. Recently, it has been published, by the Heinrich’s lab, that a particular strain of S. aureus (H1661 with a knockout of the genes that encode for Staphyloferrin A) has the essential enzymes necessary to synthesize Staphyloferrin B.2 Years prior, this same lab characterized the siderophore produced, using the same Staphyloferrin B precursors, as Staphylobactin.¹ In this study, the siderophore, produced from the NIS pathway using the Staphyloferrin B precursors, is isolated and analyzed in order to validate the biosynthesis of either the siderophore Staphyloferrin B or Staphylobactin in S. aureus H1661 for the future implications of being able to characterize other unknown siderophores from different pathogenic strains of S. aureus to eventually find an inhibitor for the virulence factors they utilize.