Iron uptake in fungi: a system for every source

Biochim Biophys Acta. 2006 Jul;1763(7):636-45. doi: 10.1016/j.bbamcr.2006.05.008. Epub 2006 May 19.


Fungi have a remarkable capacity to take up iron when present in any of a wide variety of forms, which include free iron ions, low-affinity iron chelates, siderophore-iron chelates, transferrin, heme, and hemoglobin. Appropriately, these unicellular eukaryotes express a variety of iron uptake systems, some of which are unique to fungi and some of which are present in plants and animals, as well. The reductive system of uptake relies upon the external reduction of ferric salts, chelates, and proteins prior to uptake by a high-affinity, ferrous-specific, oxidase/permease complex. This system recognizes a broad range of substrates. The non-reductive system exhibits specificity for siderophore-iron chelates, and transporters of this system exhibit multiple substrate-dependent intracellular trafficking events.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Intramural
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Cell Wall / metabolism
  • Fungi / metabolism*
  • Heme / metabolism
  • Iron / metabolism*
  • Oxidation-Reduction


  • Heme
  • Iron