Bacterial transition metal homoeostasis or simply ‘metallostasis’ describes the process by which cells control the intracellular availability of functionally required metal cofactors, from manganese (Mn) to zinc (Zn), avoiding both metal deprivation and toxicity. Metallostasis is an emerging aspect of the vertebrate host–pathogen interface that is defined by a ‘tug-of-war’ for biologically essential metals and provides the motivation for much recent work in this area. The host employs a number of strategies to starve the microbial pathogen of essential metals, while for others attempts to limit bacterial infections by leveraging highly competitive metals. Bacteria must be capable of adapting to these efforts to remodel the transition metal landscape and employ highly specialized metal sensing transcriptional regulators, termed metalloregulatory proteins,and metallochaperones, that allocate metals to specific destinations, to mediate this adaptive response. In this essay, we discuss recent progress in our understanding of the structural mechanisms and metal specificity of this adaptive response, focusing on energy-requiring metallochaperones that play roles in the metallocofactor active site assembly in metalloenzymes and metallosensors, which govern the systems-level response to metal limitation and intoxication.
Metallochaperones and metalloregulation in bacteria
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Stephen J. Lippard, Jeremy M. Berg, Daiana A. Capdevila, Katherine A. Edmonds, David P. Giedroc; Metallochaperones and metalloregulation in bacteria. Essays Biochem 9 May 2017; 61 (2): 177–200. doi: https://doi.org/10.1042/EBC20160076
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