IUBMB Enzyme Nomenclature


Accepted name: ferric enterobactin esterase

Reaction: iron(III)-enterobactin + 3 H2O = iron(III)-N-(2,3-dihydroxybenzoyl)-L-serine complex + 2 N-(2,3-dihydroxybenzoyl)-L-serine (overall reaction)
(1a) iron(III)-enterobactin + H2O = iron(III)-N-(2,3-dihydroxybenzoyl)-L-serine trimer complex
(1b) iron(III)-N-(2,3-dihydroxybenzoyl)-L-serine trimer complex + H2O = iron(III)-N-(2,3-dihydroxybenzoyl)-L-serine dimer complex + N-(2,3-dihydroxybenzoyl)-L-serine
(1c) iron(III)-N-(2,3-dihydroxybenzoyl)-L-serine dimer complex + H2O = iron(III)-N-(2,3-dihydroxybenzoyl)-L-serine complex + N-(2,3-dihydroxybenzoyl)-L-serine

Other name(s): fes (gene name); pfeE (gene name) enterochelin hydrolase; enterochelin esterase

Systematic name: iron(III)-enterobactin hydrolase

Comments: The enzyme, isolated from the bacterium Escherichia coli, allows the bacterium to grow in limited iron conditions. It can also act on enterobactin (with no complexed iron) and the aluminium(III) analogue of ferric enterobactin. The trimer formed is further hydrolysed to form the dimer and the monomer.

Links to other databases: BRENDA, EXPASY, KEGG, MetaCyc, PDB, CAS registry number:


1. O'Brien, I.G., Cox, G.B. and Gibson, F. Enterochelin hydrolysis and iron metabolism in Escherichia coli. Biochim. Biophys. Acta 237 (1971) 537-549. [PMID: 4330269]

2. Greenwood, K.T. and Luke, R.K. Enzymatic hydrolysis of enterochelin and its iron complex in Escherichia Coli K-12. Properties of enterochelin esterase. Biochim. Biophys. Acta 525 (1978) 209-218. [PMID: 150859]

3. Pettis, G.S. and McIntosh, M.A. Molecular characterization of the Escherichia coli enterobactin cistron entF and coupled expression of entF and the fes gene. J. Bacteriol. 169 (1987) 4154-4162. [PMID: 3040679]

4. Brickman, T.J. and McIntosh, M.A. Overexpression and purification of ferric enterobactin esterase from Escherichia coli. Demonstration of enzymatic hydrolysis of enterobactin and its iron complex. J. Biol. Chem 267 (1992) 12350-12355. [PMID: 1534808]

5. Winkelmann, G., Cansier, A., Beck, W. and Jung, G. HPLC separation of enterobactin and linear 2,3-dihydroxybenzoylserine derivatives: a study on mutants of Escherichia coli defective in regulation (fur), esterase (fes) and transport (fepA). Biometals 7 (1994) 149-154. [PMID: 8148617]

6. Perraud, Q., Moynie, L., Gasser, V., Munier, M., Godet, J., Hoegy, F., Mely, Y., Mislin, G.LA., Naismith, J.H. and Schalk, I.J. A key role for the periplasmic PfeE esterase in iron acquisition via the siderophore enterobactin in Pseudomonas aeruginosa. ACS Chem. Biol. 13 (2018) 2603-2614. [PMID: 30086222]

[EC created 2019]

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