The Shr receptor from uses a cap and release mechanism to acquire heme-iron from human hemoglobin.

Publication Type:

Journal Article


Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A, Volume 120, Issue 5, p.e2211939120 (2023)


Carrier Proteins, Heme, Hemoglobins, Humans, Iron, Streptococcus pyogenes


<p>(group A ) is a clinically important microbial pathogen that requires iron in order to proliferate. During infections, uses the surface displayed Shr receptor to capture human hemoglobin (Hb) and acquires its iron-laden heme molecules. Through a poorly understood mechanism, Shr engages Hb via two structurally unique N-terminal Hb-interacting domains (HID1 and HID2) which facilitate heme transfer to proximal NEAr Transporter (NEAT) domains. Based on the results of X-ray crystallography, small angle X-ray scattering, NMR spectroscopy, native mass spectrometry, and heme transfer experiments, we propose that Shr utilizes a &quot;cap and release&quot; mechanism to gather heme from Hb. In the mechanism, Shr uses the HID1 and HID2 modules to preferentially recognize only heme-loaded forms of Hb by contacting the edges of its protoporphyrin rings. Heme transfer is enabled by significant receptor dynamics within the Shr-Hb complex which function to transiently uncap HID1 from the heme bound to Hb&#39;s β subunit, enabling the gated release of its relatively weakly bound heme molecule and subsequent capture by Shr&#39;s NEAT domains. These dynamics may maximize the efficiency of heme scavenging by , enabling it to preferentially recognize and remove heme from only heme-loaded forms of Hb that contain iron.</p>