Iron is an essential micronutrient required for virtually all organisms. This fact is related to the ability of the transition metal to exist in two oxidation states, the reduced ferrous (Fe2+) and the oxidized ferric (Fe3+). Given the relative availability of aqueous iron (the element which constitutes ~5% of the earth’s crust) one is not surprised that iron is the most common prosthetic element in biology. Usually, fungi can uptake iron through receptor-mediated internalization of a siderophore or heme, and/or reductive iron assimilation (RIA) (Kosman, 2013). In this way, the uptake of iron in the absence or presence of the reducing agent ascorbic acid can be investigated by 59Fe uptake assays, as previously described (Eide et al., 1992). In the presence of ascorbic acid, the reductive-independent 59Fe uptake route is investigated. On the other hand, in the absence of ascorbic acid, the reductive-dependent 59Fe uptake route is stimulated. Using this strategy for the human pathogenic fungus Paracoccidioides species, the results showed that iron uptake by Pb01 in the absence of ascorbic acid was low, unlike what was observed for Pb18. These results suggest that only in Pb18 the iron uptake pathway is coupled to a ferric reductase (Bailão et al., 2015). In this protocol, we describe how to perform 59Fe uptake assays in Paracoccidioides species.
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