Petrobactin is the primary siderophore synthesized by Bacillus anthracis str. Sterne under conditions of iron starvation

Andrew T. Koppisch, Cindy C. Browder, Amanda L. Moe, Jacob T. Shelley, Blaine A. Kinkel, Larry E. Hersman, Srinivas Iyer, Christy E. Ruggiero

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

69 Scopus citations


The siderophores of Bacillus anthracis are critical for the pathogen's proliferation and may be necessary for its virulence. Bacillus anthracis str. Sterne cells were cultured in iron free media and the siderophores produced were isolated and purified using a combination of XAD-2 resin, reverse-phase FPLC, and size exclusion chromatography. A combination of 1H and 13C NMR spectroscopy, UV spectroscopy and ESI-MS/MS fragmentation were used to identify the primary siderophore as petrobactin, a catecholate species containing unusual 3,4-dihydroxybenzoate moieties, previously only identified in extracts of Marinobacter hydrocarbonoclasticus. A secondary siderophore was observed and structural analysis of this species is consistent with that reported for bacillibactin, a siderophore observed in many species of bacilli. This is the first structural characterization of a siderophore from B. anthracis, as well as the first characterization of a 3,4-DHB containing catecholate in a pathogen.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)577-585
Number of pages9
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 1 2005
Externally publishedYes



  • Bacillibactin
  • Bacillus anthracis
  • Iron
  • Petrobactin
  • Siderophores

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biomaterials
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
  • Metals and Alloys

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