Physiological roles of bacillithiol in intracellular metal processing

Zuelay Rosario-Cruz, Jeffrey M. Boyd

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

28 Scopus citations


Glutathione (GSH) is an abundantly produced low-molecular-weight (LMW) thiol in many organisms. However, a number of Gram-positive bacteria do not produce GSH, but instead produce bacillithiol (BSH) as one of the major LMW thiols. Similar to GSH, studies have found that BSH has various roles in the cell, including protection against hydrogen peroxide, hypochlorite and disulfide stress. BSH also participates in the detoxification of thiol-reactive antibiotics and the electrophilic metabolite methylglyoxal. Recently, a number of studies have highlighted additional roles for BSH in the processing of intracellular metals. Herein, we examine the potential functions of BSH in the biogenesis of Fe–S clusters, cytosolic metal buffering and the prevention of metal intoxication.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)59-65
Number of pages7
JournalCurrent Genetics
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 1 2016

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Genetics


  • Bacillithiol
  • Copper
  • Iron
  • Iron-sulfur cluster
  • Low-molecular-weight thiols
  • Manganese
  • Zinc


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