Bacterial zinc transporters and regulators

  • Klaus Hantke


Zn2+ homeostasis in bacteria is achieved by export systems and uptake systems which are separately regulated by their own regulators. Three types of Zn2+ export systems that protect cells from high toxic concentrations of Zn2+ have been identified: RND multi-drug efflux transporters, P-type ATPases, and cation-diffusion facilitators. The RND type exporters for Zn2+ are only found in a few gram-negative bacteria; they allow a very efficient export across the cytoplasmic membrane and the outer membrane of the cell. P-type ATPases and cation-diffusion facilitators belong to protein families that are also found in eukaryotes. The exporters are regulated in bacteria by MerR-like repressor/activators or by ArsR-like repressors. For the high-affinity uptake of Zn2+, several bindingprotein-dependent ABC transporters belonging to one class have been identified in different bacteria. Zn2+ ABC transporters are regulated by Zur repressors, which belong to the Fur protein family of iron regulators. Little is known about low-affinity Zn2+ uptake under zinc-replete conditions. One known example is the phosphate uptake system Pit, which may cotransport Zn2+ in Escherichia coli. Similarly, the citrate—metal cotransporter CitM in Bacillus subtilis may help to supply Zn2+.

Key words

zinc transporter regulator RND type exporter P-type ATPase ABC transporter 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2001

Authors and Affiliations

  • Klaus Hantke
    • 1
  1. 1.Mikrobiologie/MembranphysiologieUniversität TübingenTübingenGermany

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