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Curr Opin Microbiol. 2005 Apr;8(2):196-202.

Bacterial zinc uptake and regulators.

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  • 1Mikrobiologie/Membranphysiologie, Universität Tübingen, Auf der Morgenstelle 28, D-72076 Tübingen, Germany. hantke@uni-tuebingen.de


Many bacteria use an ABC transporter for high-affinity uptake of zinc with a cluster 9 solute-binding protein. Other members of this protein family transport manganese. At present, it is not always possible to distinguish zinc-specific and manganese-specific transporters on the basis of sequence analysis. Low-affinity ZIP-type zinc transporters in bacteria have also been identified. Most high-affinity zinc uptake systems are regulated by Zur proteins, which form at least three unrelated subgroups of the Fur protein family (regulators of iron transport). High-affinity transport of zinc out of the periplasmic space poses a problem to the cell because zinc is a cofactor of several periplasmic enzymes. Certain zinc-binding proteins in the periplasm might function as chaperones to supply these enzymes with zinc.

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