The Zinc Transport Systems and Their Regulation in Pathogenic Fungi

Mycobiology. 2015 Sep;43(3):179-83. doi: 10.5941/MYCO.2015.43.3.179. Epub 2015 Sep 30.


Zinc is an essential micronutrient required for many enzymes that play essential roles in a cell. It was estimated that approximately 3% of the total cellular proteins are required for zinc for their functions. Zinc has long been considered as one of the key players in host-pathogen interactions. The host sequesters intracellular zinc by utilizing multiple cellular zinc importers and exporters as a means of nutritional immunity. To overcome extreme zinc limitation within the host environment, pathogenic microbes have successfully evolved a number of mechanisms to secure sufficient concentrations of zinc for their survival and pathogenesis. In this review, we briefly discuss the zinc uptake systems and their regulation in the model fungus Saccharomyces cerevisiae and in major human pathogenic fungi such as Aspergillus fumigatus, Candida albicans, and Cryptococcus gattii.

Keywords: Fungi; Virulence; ZIP family transporter; Zap1; Zinc.

Publication types

  • Review