Facing the challenges of Cu, Fe and Zn homeostasis in plants

Nat Chem Biol. 2009 May;5(5):333-40. doi: 10.1038/nchembio.166.


Plants have recently moved into the spotlight owing to the growing realization that the world needs solutions to energy and food production that are sustainable and environmentally sound. Iron, copper and zinc are essential for plant growth and development, yet the same properties that make these transition metals indispensable can also make them deadly in excess. Iron and copper are most often used for their redox properties, whereas zinc is primarily used for its ability to act as a Lewis acid. Here we review recent advances in the field of metal homeostasis and integrate the findings on uptake and transport of these three metals.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Biological Transport
  • Chelating Agents / chemistry
  • Copper / metabolism*
  • Homeostasis*
  • Iron / metabolism*
  • Plants / metabolism*
  • Zinc / metabolism*


  • Chelating Agents
  • Copper
  • Iron
  • Zinc