FgFtr1 and FgFtr2 are putative iron permeases, and FgFet1 and FgFet2 are putative ferroxidases of Fusarium graminearum. They have high homologies with iron permease ScFtr1 and ferroxidase ScFet3 of Saccharomyces cerevisiae at the amino acid level. The genes encoding iron permease and ferroxidase were localized to the same chromosome in the manner of FgFtr1/FgFet1 and FgFtr2/FgFet2. The GFP (green fluorescent protein)-fused versions of FgFtr1 and FgFtr2 showed normal functions when compared with FgFtr1 and FgFtr2 in an S. cerevisiae system, and the cellular localizations of FgFtr1 and FgFtr2 in S. cerevisiae depended on the expression of their putative ferroxidase partners FgFet1 and FgFet2 respectively. Although FgFtr1 was found on the plasma membrane when FgFet1 and FgFtr1 were co-transformed in S. cerevisiae, most of the FgFtr1 was found in the endoplasmic reticulum compartment when co-expressed with FgFet2. Furthermore, FgFtr2 was found on the vacuolar membrane when FgFet2 was co-expressed. From the two-hybrid analysis, we confirmed the interaction of FgFtr1 and FgFet1, and the same result was found between FgFtr2 and FgFet2. Iron-uptake activity also depended on the existence of the respective partner. Finally, the FgFtr1 and FgFtr2 were found on the plasma and vacuolar membrane respectively, in F. graminearum. Taken together, these results strongly suggest that FgFtr1 and FgFtr2 from F. graminearum encode the iron permeases of the plasma membrane and vacuolar membrane respectively, and require their specific ferroxidases to carry out normal function. Furthermore, the present study suggests that the reductive iron-uptake system is conserved from yeast to filamentous fungi.

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