Specificity of Metal Sensing: Iron and Manganese Homeostasis in Bacillus subtilis [Gene Regulation]

August 26th, 2014 by Helmann, J. D.

Metalloregulatory proteins allow cells to sense metal ions and appropriately adjust the expression of metal uptake, storage, and efflux pathways. Bacillus subtilis provides a model for the coordinate regulation of iron (Fe) and manganese (Mn) homeostasis that involves three key regulators: Fur senses Fe sufficiency, MntR senses Mn sufficiency, and PerR senses the intracellular Fe/Mn ratio. Here, I review the structural and physiological bases of selective metal perception, the effects of non-cognate metals, and mechanisms that may serve to coordinate Fe and Mn homeostasis.