Issue 6, 2015

Bacterial iron–sulfur cluster sensors in mammalian pathogens


Iron–sulfur clusters act as important cofactors for a number of transcriptional regulators in bacteria, including many mammalian pathogens. The sensitivity of iron–sulfur clusters to iron availability, oxygen tension, and reactive oxygen and nitrogen species enables bacteria to use such regulators to adapt their gene expression profiles rapidly in response to changing environmental conditions. In this review, we discuss how the [4Fe–4S] or [2Fe–2S] cluster-containing regulators FNR, Wbl, aconitase, IscR, NsrR, SoxR, and AirSR contribute to bacterial pathogenesis through control of both metabolism and classical virulence factors. In addition, we briefly review mammalian iron homeostasis as well as oxidative/nitrosative stress to provide context for understanding the function of bacterial iron–sulfur cluster sensors in different niches within the host.

Graphical abstract: Bacterial iron–sulfur cluster sensors in mammalian pathogens

Article information

Article type
08 Jan 2015
26 Feb 2015
First published
26 Feb 2015

Metallomics, 2015,7, 943-956

Author version available