Gene Symbol: bfr
Description: bacterioferritin, iron storage and detoxification protein
Alias: ECK3323, JW3298
Species: Escherichia coli str. K-12 substr. MG1655

Top Publications

  1. Han K, Park J, Seo H, Ahn K, Lee J. Multiple stressor-induced proteome responses of Escherichia coli BL21(DE3). J Proteome Res. 2008;7:1891-903 pubmed publisher
    ..The quantitative and systematic proteome analyses that we have performed provide more detailed information on E. coli BL21(DE3), a widely used host strain for recombinant protein overexpression. ..
  2. Stiefel E, Grossman M, Hinton S, Minak Bernero V, George G, Prince R, et al. Bacterioferritin: a hemoprotein member of the ferritin family. Adv Exp Med Biol. 1994;356:157-64 pubmed
  3. Smith J, Quirk A, Plank R, Diffin F, Ford G, Harrison P. The identity of Escherichia coli bacterioferritin and cytochrome b1. Biochem J. 1988;255:737-40 pubmed
    ..Both were crystallized, and X-ray-crystallographic data were compared with those from the bacterioferritin of E. coli strain W3300 used as a standard. We conclude that 'cytochrome b1' and 'bacterioferritin' are identical. ..
  4. Garg R, Vargo C, Cui X, Kurtz D. A [2Fe-2S] protein encoded by an open reading frame upstream of the Escherichia coli bacterioferritin gene. Biochemistry. 1996;35:6297-301 pubmed
    ..Affinity chromatography demonstrated specific complex formation between bacterioferritin (Bfr) and this NIFU-like [2Fe-2S] protein, which is dubbed Bfd...
  5. Keech A, Le Brun N, Wilson M, Andrews S, Moore G, Thomson A. Spectroscopic studies of cobalt(II) binding to Escherichia coli bacterioferritin. J Biol Chem. 1997;272:422-9 pubmed
    The iron storage protein bacterioferritin (BFR) consists of 24 identical subunits, each containing a dinuclear metal binding site called the ferroxidase center, which is essential for fast iron core formation...
  6. Cheesman M, Thomson A, Greenwood C, Moore G, Kadir F. Bis-methionine axial ligation of haem in bacterioferritin from Pseudomonas aeruginosa. Nature. 1990;346:771-3 pubmed
    ..aeruginosa bacterioferritin which enable the axial ligands to be identified as the thioether side chains of two methionine residues, a ligation scheme not previously reported for haem in any protein. ..
  7. Davis G, Elisee C, Newham D, Harrison R. New fusion protein systems designed to give soluble expression in Escherichia coli. Biotechnol Bioeng. 1999;65:382-8 pubmed
    Three native E. coli proteins-NusA, GrpE, and bacterioferritin (BFR)-were studied in fusion proteins expressed in E. coli for their ability to confer solubility on a target insoluble protein at the C-terminus of the fusion protein...
  8. Andrews S, Harrison P, Guest J. Cloning, sequencing, and mapping of the bacterioferritin gene (bfr) of Escherichia coli K-12. J Bacteriol. 1989;171:3940-7 pubmed
    The bacterioferritin (BFR) of Escherichia coli K-12 is an iron-storage hemoprotein, previously identified as cytochrome b1. The bacterioferritin gene (bfr) has been cloned, sequenced, and located in the E. coli linkage map...
  9. Bou Abdallah F, Lewin A, Le Brun N, Moore G, Chasteen N. Iron detoxification properties of Escherichia coli bacterioferritin. Attenuation of oxyradical chemistry. J Biol Chem. 2002;277:37064-9 pubmed

More Information


  1. Mass E, Gottesman S. A small RNA regulates the expression of genes involved in iron metabolism in Escherichia coli. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2002;99:4620-5 pubmed publisher
    ..two other genes encoding enzymes in the tricarboxylic acid cycle, acnA and fumA, two ferritin genes, ftnA and bfr, and a gene for superoxide dismutase, sodB...
  2. Andrews S, Smith J, Guest J, Harrison P. Genetic and structural characterization of the bacterioferritin of Escherichia coli. Biochem Soc Trans. 1990;18:658-9 pubmed
  3. Andrews S, Le Brun N, Barynin V, Thomson A, Moore G, Guest J, et al. Site-directed replacement of the coaxial heme ligands of bacterioferritin generates heme-free variants. J Biol Chem. 1995;270:23268-74 pubmed
    The bacterioferritin (BFR) of Escherichia coli is a heme-containing iron storage molecule. It is composed of 24 identical subunits, which form a roughly spherical protein shell surrounding a central iron storage cavity...
  4. Frolow F, Kalb A, Yariv J. Structure of a unique twofold symmetric haem-binding site. Nat Struct Biol. 1994;1:453-60 pubmed
    ..This is the first structure of a bis-methionine ligated haem-binding site and the first case of a twofold symmetric haem-binding site. ..
  5. Stojiljkovic I, Bäumler A, Hantke K. Fur regulon in gram-negative bacteria. Identification and characterization of new iron-regulated Escherichia coli genes by a fur titration assay. J Mol Biol. 1994;236:531-45 pubmed
    ..A synthetic Fur-box with changes in both Fur-box halves was no longer bound by the Fur repressor complex in vivo. ..
  6. Andrews S, Smith J, Guest J, Harrison P. Amino acid sequence of the bacterioferritin (cytochrome b1) of Escherichia coli-K12. Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 1989;158:489-96 pubmed
    ..The fully assembled bacterioferritin molecule comprising 24 identical subunits and 12 haem moieties is a tetracosamer with an Mr of approximately 452,000. ..
  7. Zhang Y, Wang L, Ardejani M, Aris N, Li X, Orner B, et al. Mutagenesis study to disrupt electrostatic interactions on the twofold symmetry interface of Escherichia coli bacterioferritin. J Biochem. 2015;158:505-12 pubmed publisher
    ..The bacterioferritin (BFR) from Escherichia coli, a maxi-ferritin made up of 24 subunits, was chosen as the basis for a mutagenesis study to ..
  8. Matzanke B, Müller G, Bill E, Trautwein A. Iron metabolism of Escherichia coli studied by Mössbauer spectroscopy and biochemical methods. Eur J Biochem. 1989;183:371-9 pubmed
    ..Additional Mössbauer experiments suggest that these novel iron proteins are not restricted to E. coli but that similar components are detectable in several bacterial and fungal systems, thus pointing to a general occurrence. ..
  9. Smith J, Ford G, Harrison P, Yariv J, Kalb A. Molecular size and symmetry of the bacterioferritin of Escherichia coli. X-ray crystallographic characterization of four crystal forms. J Mol Biol. 1989;205:465-7 pubmed
    ..7 A, b = 211.6 A, c = 123.3 A and beta = 119.1 degrees; orthorhombic, C222(1), a = 128.7 A, b = 197.1 A, c = 202.8 A; tetragonal, P4(2)2(1)2, a = b = 210.6 A, c = 145.0 A and cubic, I432, a = 146.9 A. ..
  10. Baaghil S, Lewin A, Moore G, Le Brun N. Core formation in Escherichia coli bacterioferritin requires a functional ferroxidase center. Biochemistry. 2003;42:14047-56 pubmed
    ..A central feature of this mechanism is that dioxygen cannot readily gain access to the core, perhaps because the channels through the bacterioferritin coat are hydrophilic and dioxygen is nonpolar. ..
  11. Le Brun N, Andrews S, Moore G, Thomson A. Interaction of nitric oxide with non-haem iron sites of Escherichia coli bacterioferritin: reduction of nitric oxide to nitrous oxide and oxidation of iron(II) to iron(III). Biochem J. 1997;326 ( Pt 1):173-9 pubmed
    The bacterioferritin (BFR) of Escherichia coli consists of 24 identical subunits, each containing a dinuclear metal-binding site consisting of two histidines and four carboxylic acid residues...
  12. Andrews S, Robinson A, Rodr guez Qui ones F. Bacterial iron homeostasis. FEMS Microbiol Rev. 2003;27:215-37 pubmed
  13. Andrews S, Smith J, Hawkins C, Williams J, Harrison P, Guest J. Overproduction, purification and characterization of the bacterioferritin of Escherichia coli and a C-terminally extended variant. Eur J Biochem. 1993;213:329-38 pubmed
    The bacterioferritin (BFR) of Escherichia coli is an iron-sequestering haemoprotein composed of 24 identical polypeptide chains forming an approximately spherical protein shell with a central iron-storage cavity...
  14. Dautant A, Meyer J, Yariv J, Precigoux G, Sweet R, Kalb A, et al. Structure of a monoclinic crystal from of cyctochrome b1 (Bacterioferritin) from E. coli. Acta Crystallogr D Biol Crystallogr. 1998;54:16-24 pubmed
    ..A bimetal centre is also observed within the four-helix bundle of each monomer; a metal-binding site is located on the fourfold axis. ..
  15. Ardejani M, Li N, Orner B. Stabilization of a protein nanocage through the plugging of a protein-protein interfacial water pocket. Biochemistry. 2011;50:4029-37 pubmed publisher
    ..More generally, this study further demonstrates the power of jointly employing in silico and in vitro techniques to understand and enhance biostructural energetics. ..
  16. Yariv J. Circumstantial evidence for cytochrome b1 involvement in the functioning of lac-permease in respiring Escherichia coli. J Theor Biol. 1996;182:459-62 pubmed
    ..coli in its present form and would be in variance with the coupling-by-energy theories of lactose transport that exempted translocation from dependence on energy yielding processes. ..
  17. Andrews S. Iron storage in bacteria. Adv Microb Physiol. 1998;40:281-351 pubmed
    ..No phenotype has been determined for E. coli bacterioferritin mutants and the precise role of bacterioferritin in E. coli remains uncertain. ..
  18. Andrews S, Arosio P, Bottke W, Briat J, von Darl M, Harrison P, et al. Structure, function, and evolution of ferritins. J Inorg Biochem. 1992;47:161-74 pubmed
    ..structures of mammalian and invertebrate ferritins, as well as computer modeling of plant ferritins and of BFR, indicate a well conserved molecular framework...
  19. Yariv J, Kalb A, Sperling R, Bauminger E, Cohen S, Ofer S. The composition and the structure of bacterioferritin of Escherichia coli. Biochem J. 1981;197:171-5 pubmed
    ..In the electron microscope the bacterioferritin molecule appears to be a sphere of 9.5 nm (95 A) diameter composed of a negatively staining outer shell and an inner electron-dense core of 6 nm (60 A) diameter. ..
  20. Willies S, Isupov M, Garman E, Littlechild J. The binding of haem and zinc in the 1.9 A X-ray structure of Escherichia coli bacterioferritin. J Biol Inorg Chem. 2009;14:201-7 pubmed publisher
    ..For the first time the haem has been shown to be linked to both the internal and the external environments via a cluster of waters positioned above the haem molecule. ..
  21. Thomson A, Le Brun N, Keech A, Andrews S, Moore G. Pumping iron: does bacterioferritin contain a redox-driven iron pump?. Biochem Soc Trans. 1997;25:96-101 pubmed
  22. Whitchurch C, Mattick J. Escherichia coli contains a set of genes homologous to those involved in protein secretion, DNA uptake and the assembly of type-4 fimbriae in other bacteria. Gene. 1994;150:9-15 pubmed
    ..Insertional mutagenesis of hopB and hopD failed to reveal any obvious effects on cell viability, morphogenesis of M13 phage, conjugative transfer of the F plasmid, or protein secretion. ..
  23. Yang X, Chiancone E, Stefanini S, Ilari A, Chasteen N. Iron oxidation and hydrolysis reactions of a novel ferritin from Listeria innocua. Biochem J. 2000;349 Pt 3:783-6 pubmed
    ..innocua ferritin (the present work) and in the 24-subunit Escherichia coli bacterioferritin, whereas H(2)O(2) is produced in 24-subunit mammalian ferritins. Possible reasonsfor this difference are discussed. ..
  24. Aitken Rogers H, Singleton C, Lewin A, Taylor Gee A, Moore G, Le Brun N. Effect of phosphate on bacterioferritin-catalysed iron(II) oxidation. J Biol Inorg Chem. 2004;9:161-70 pubmed
    ..the in vivo core-formation process, the effect of phosphate on in vitro core formation in Escherichia coli BFR was investigated...
  25. Grady J, Zang J, Laue T, Arosio P, Chasteen N. Characterization of the H- and L-subunit ratios of ferritins by sodium dodecyl sulfate-capillary gel electrophoresis. Anal Biochem. 2002;302:263-8 pubmed
    ..Significant amounts of low-molecular-weight degradation products were detected in all commercial sources of horse spleen ferritin. Most commercial horse spleen ferritins lacked intact H-subunits under denaturing conditions. ..
  26. Lawson T, Crow A, Lewin A, Yasmin S, Moore G, Le Brun N. Monitoring the iron status of the ferroxidase center of Escherichia coli bacterioferritin using fluorescence spectroscopy. Biochemistry. 2009;48:9031-9 pubmed publisher
    ..Here we show that the fluorescence intensity of Escherichia coli bacterioferritin (BFR), due to the presence of two tryptophan residues (Trp35 and Trp133) in each of the 24 subunits, is highly sensitive ..
  27. Tsugita A, Yariv J. Preliminary results for the primary structure of bacterioferritin of Escherichia coli. Biochem J. 1985;231:209-12 pubmed
    ..The identity of the following positions in the sequence has been ascertained: residues 1-25, 30-37, 83-88, 127-132 and 143-146. No homology with ferritin was found. ..
  28. van Eerde A, Wolterink van Loo S, van der Oost J, Dijkstra B. Fortuitous structure determination of 'as-isolated' Escherichia coli bacterioferritin in a novel crystal form. Acta Crystallogr Sect F Struct Biol Cryst Commun. 2006;62:1061-6 pubmed
    ..The ferroxidase-centre configuration displays a similar flexibility as previously noted for other bacterioferritins. ..
  29. Andrews S, Findlay J, Guest J, Harrison P, Keen J, Smith J. Physical, chemical and immunological properties of the bacterioferritins of Escherichia coli, Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Azotobacter vinelandii. Biochim Biophys Acta. 1991;1078:111-6 pubmed
    The 70-amino-acid-residue N-terminal sequence of the bacterioferritin (BFR) of Azotobacter vinelandii was determined and shown to be highly similar to the N-terminal sequences of the Escherichia coli and Nitrobacter winogradskyi ..
  30. Yang X, Le Brun N, Thomson A, Moore G, Chasteen N. The iron oxidation and hydrolysis chemistry of Escherichia coli bacterioferritin. Biochemistry. 2000;39:4915-23 pubmed
    ..Iron oxidation is inhibited by the presence of Zn(2+) ions. The patterns of phase 2 and phase 3 inhibition are different, though inhibition of both phases is complete at 48 Zn(2+)per 24mer, i.e., 2 Zn(2+) per ferroxidase center. ..
  31. Andrews S, Smith J, Yewdall S, Guest J, Harrison P. Bacterioferritins and ferritins are distantly related in evolution. Conservation of ferroxidase-centre residues. FEBS Lett. 1991;293:164-8 pubmed
    ..Optimum alignment of bacterioferritin and ferritin sequences suggests that key residues of the ferroxidase centres of ferritins are conserved in bacterioferritins. ..
  32. Jung Y, Kwak J, Lee Y. High-level production of heme-containing holoproteins in Escherichia coli. Appl Microbiol Biotechnol. 2001;55:187-91 pubmed
    ..Our expression system provides a rapid and simple method for obtaining large quantities of the active holo-form of heme-containing proteins. ..
  33. Le Brun N, Wilson M, Andrews S, Guest J, Harrison P, Thomson A, et al. Kinetic and structural characterization of an intermediate in the biomineralization of bacterioferritin. FEBS Lett. 1993;333:197-202 pubmed
  34. Abdul Tehrani H, Hudson A, Chang Y, Timms A, Hawkins C, Williams J, et al. Ferritin mutants of Escherichia coli are iron deficient and growth impaired, and fur mutants are iron deficient. J Bacteriol. 1999;181:1415-28 pubmed
    Escherichia coli contains at least two iron storage proteins, a ferritin (FtnA) and a bacterioferritin (Bfr)...
  35. Yasmin S, Andrews S, Moore G, Le Brun N. A new role for heme, facilitating release of iron from the bacterioferritin iron biomineral. J Biol Chem. 2011;286:3473-83 pubmed publisher
    Bacterioferritin (BFR) from Escherichia coli is a member of the ferritin family of iron storage proteins and has the capacity to store very large amounts of iron as an Fe(3+) mineral inside its central cavity...
  36. Moore G. Bacterial 4-alpha-helical bundle cytochromes. Biochim Biophys Acta. 1991;1058:38-41 pubmed
    ..In the present case, the comparison is between bacterioferritin and its animal counterpart, haemoferritin...
  37. Cheesman M, Le Brun N, Kadir F, Thomson A, Moore G, Andrews S, et al. Haem and non-haem iron sites in Escherichia coli bacterioferritin: spectroscopic and model building studies. Biochem J. 1993;292 ( Pt 1):47-56 pubmed
    The bacterioferritin (BFR) of Escherichia coli is an iron-storage protein containing 24 identical subunits and between three and 11 protohaem IX groups per molecule...
  38. Le Brun N, Cheesman M, Thomson A, Moore G, Andrews S, Guest J, et al. An EPR investigation of non-haem iron sites in Escherichia coli bacterioferritin and their interaction with phosphate. A study using nitric oxide as a spin probe. FEBS Lett. 1993;323:261-6 pubmed
    EPR studies of bacterioferritin (BFR), an iron-storage protein of Escherichia coli [1993, Biochem. J...
  39. Le Brun N, Keech A, Mauk M, Mauk A, Andrews S, Thomson A, et al. Charge compensated binding of divalent metals to bacterioferritin: H+ release associated with cobalt(II) and zinc(II) binding at dinuclear metal sites. FEBS Lett. 1996;397:159-63 pubmed
    Divalent metal ion binding to the bacterial iron-storage protein, bacterioferritin (BFR), which contains a dinuclear metal binding site within each of its 24 subunits, was investigated by potentiometric and spectrophotometric methods...
  40. Wong S, Tom Yew S, Lewin A, Le Brun N, Moore G, Murphy M, et al. Structural and mechanistic studies of a stabilized subunit dimer variant of Escherichia coli bacterioferritin identify residues required for core formation. J Biol Chem. 2009;284:18873-81 pubmed publisher
    Bacterioferritin (BFR) is a bacterial member of the ferritin family that functions in iron metabolism and protects against oxidative stress...
  41. Le Brun N, Andrews S, Guest J, Harrison P, Moore G, Thomson A. Identification of the ferroxidase centre of Escherichia coli bacterioferritin. Biochem J. 1995;312 ( Pt 2):385-92 pubmed
    The bacterioferritin (BFR) of Escherichia coli takes up iron in the ferrous form and stores it within its central cavity as a hydrated ferric oxide mineral...
  42. Freire P, Amaral J, Santos J, Arraiano C. Adaptation to carbon starvation: RNase III ensures normal expression levels of bolA1p mRNA and sigma(S). Biochimie. 2006;88:341-6 pubmed
    ..This effect is also observed when sulA, bfr, uspA and uspB transcripts were analyzed...
  43. Hudson A, Andrews S, Hawkins C, Williams J, Izuhara M, Meldrum F, et al. Overproduction, purification and characterization of the Escherichia coli ferritin. Eur J Biochem. 1993;218:985-95 pubmed
    ..The ferritin protein has been amplified 600-fold to 11-14% of total cell protein in a bfr mutant and purified to homogeneity with an overall yield of 13%...
  44. Smith J. Bacterioferritin: structural modelling and molecular symmetry of Escherichia coli BFR. Biochem Soc Trans. 1991;19:337S pubmed