Genetic Regulation of Metal Ion Homeostasis in Staphylococcus aureus

Erin E. Price, Jeffrey M. Boyd

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


The acquisition of metal ions and the proper maturation of holo-metalloproteins are essential processes for all organisms. However, metal ion homeostasis is a double-edged sword. A cytosolic accumulation of metal ions can lead to mismetallation of proteins and cell death. Therefore, maintenance of proper concentrations of intracellular metals is essential for cell fitness and pathogenesis. Staphylococcus aureus, like all bacterial pathogens, uses transcriptional metalloregulatory proteins to aid in the detection and the genetic response to changes in metal ion concentrations. Herein, we review the mechanisms by which S. aureus senses and responds to alterations in the levels of cellular zinc, iron, heme, and copper. The interplay between metal ion sensing and metal-dependent expression of virulence factors is also discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)821-831
Number of pages11
JournalTrends in Microbiology
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 2020

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Microbiology (medical)
  • Infectious Diseases
  • Virology
  • Microbiology


  • Staphylococcus aureus
  • iron
  • manganese
  • metal homeostasis
  • metal ion
  • metalloregulator


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