Living organisms use metals for a variety of essential functions, and face the problems of how to acquire and regulate the intracellular levels of those metals they need, differentiate between essential and toxic metals, and remove from the cell or detoxify metals that are toxic. In bacteria, cytoplasmic metal ion responsive transcriptional regulators are important in regulating the expression of genes involved in metal ion homeostasis and efflux systems. The MerR family of transcriptional activators are metal sensing regulators that are found in different bacteria and have a common design, but have evolved to recognize and respond to different metals. In this issue of Molecular Microbiology, work by Checa and colleagues describes for the first time a gold-specific MerR family regulator named GolS from Salmonella enterica serovar Typhimurium that controls the production of an efflux pump and a metal chaperone protein that confer resistance to Au salts.
|Number of pages||4|
|Publication status||Published - 1 Mar 2007|