Ferreira, D., Seca, A.M.L., Pinto, D.C.G.A. & Silva, A.M.S. (2016) Targeting human pathogenic bacteria by siderophores: a proteomics review.Journal of Proteomics, 145, 153-166. DOI:10.1016/j.jprot.2016.04.006 (IF2016 3,194; Q1 Biochemical Research Methods)
Human bacterial infections are still a major public health problem throughout the world. Therefore it is fundamental to understand how pathogenic bacteria interact with their human host and to develop more advanced drugs or vaccines in response to the increasing bacterial resistance. Since iron is essential to bacterial survival and growth inside the host tissues, these microorganisms have developed highly efficient iron-acquisition systems; the most common one involves the secretion of iron chelators into the extracellular environment, known as siderophores, and the corresponding siderophore-membrane receptors or transporters responsible for the iron uptake. In the past few decades, several biochemical methods and genetic screens have been employed to track down and identify these iron-scavenging molecules. However, compared with the previous “static” approaches, proteomic identification is revealing far more molecules through full protein mapping and becoming more rapid and selective, leading the scientific and medical community to consider standardizing proteomic tools for clinical biomarker detection of bacterial infectious diseases.
In this review, we focus on human pathogenic Gram-negative bacteria and discuss the importance of siderophores in their virulence and the available proteomic strategies to identify siderophore-related proteins and their expression level under different growth conditions. The promising use of siderophore antibiotics to overcome bacterial resistance and the future of proteomics in the routine clinical care are also mentioned.