The intersection of host and fungus through the zinc lens

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In this review, we summarize data regarding the influence of zinc on host defenses to human pathogenic fungi and how the fungus acquires zinc to sustain biological functions. Mammals have evolved several extracellular and intracellular mechanisms to withhold zinc from the fungus. Specific immune cells release zinc binding proteins such as calprotectin to capture the metal and deny it to the fungus. Intracellularly, several zinc binding proteins such as metallothioneins starve the fungus of zinc. The net result in both situations is depriving the fungus of a crucial micronutrient. To combat this struggle, fungi have developed means to capture zinc and store it. The mechanisms of transport for various fungi are discussed herein.




Wilson, D., & Deepe, G. S. (2019, December 1). The intersection of host and fungus through the zinc lens. Current Opinion in Microbiology. Elsevier Ltd.

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