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Trace Metals and Infectious Diseases$
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Jerome O. Nriagu and Eric P. Skaar

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780262029193

Published to MIT Press Scholarship Online: May 2016

DOI: 10.7551/mitpress/9780262029193.001.0001

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The Fate of Intracellular Metal Ions in Microbes

The Fate of Intracellular Metal Ions in Microbes

Chapter:
(p.39) 4 The Fate of Intracellular Metal Ions in Microbes
Source:
Trace Metals and Infectious Diseases
Author(s):

Slade A. Loutet

Anson C. K. Chan

Marek J. Kobylarz

Meghan M. Verstraete

Stephanie Pfaffen

Bin Ye

Angel L. Arrieta

Michael E. P. Murphy

Publisher:
The MIT Press
DOI:10.7551/mitpress/9780262029193.003.0004

Metals are essential for all microorganisms; they are required as cofactors of enzymes that mediate metabolic processes which are indispensable for cellular energy production and growth. Some metals, such as zinc, are readily bound and serve as key structural elements of many macromolecules. Thus, to grow, microorganisms have an essential quota for several metals. The catalytic and other chemical properties of metals that microorganisms value create issues for metal management. Due to their high affinity for amino acids and their reactive nature, uptake, intracellular transport, and storage of metals are mediated by tightly regulated proteins. Protein chaperones function to supply some specific metals to sites of utilization and, in some cases, storage. In particular, iron is difficult to acquire and is stored as a mineral in protein nanocages. Other metals, when present in excess, induce the expression of export systems to maintain a defined intracellular concentration of readily exchangeable metal.

Keywords:   metalloproteins, competition for essential metals, metal ions in bacteria, metal detoxification, metal availability, pathogenicity, antibiotic resistance

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