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Life 2014, 4(4), 865-886; doi:10.3390/life4040865

Metals in Cyanobacteria: Analysis of the Copper, Nickel, Cobalt and Arsenic Homeostasis Mechanisms

1
Instituto de Bioquímica Vegetal y Fotosíntesis, Universidad de Sevilla-CSIC, Américo Vespucio 49, E-41092 Sevilla, Spain
2
Systems Biology and Bioinformatics Laboratory, IBB-CBME, University of Algarve, Campus de Gambelas, 8005-139 Faro, Portugal
These authors contributed equally to this work.
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 30 October 2014 / Revised: 27 November 2014 / Accepted: 4 December 2014 / Published: 9 December 2014
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Cyanobacteria: Ecology, Physiology and Genetics)
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Abstract

Traces of metal are required for fundamental biochemical processes, such as photosynthesis and respiration. Cyanobacteria metal homeostasis acquires an important role because the photosynthetic machinery imposes a high demand for metals, making them a limiting factor for cyanobacteria, especially in the open oceans. On the other hand, in the last two centuries, the metal concentrations in marine environments and lake sediments have increased as a result of several industrial activities. In all cases, cells have to tightly regulate uptake to maintain their intracellular concentrations below toxic levels. Mechanisms to obtain metal under limiting conditions and to protect cells from an excess of metals are present in cyanobacteria. Understanding metal homeostasis in cyanobacteria and the proteins involved will help to evaluate the use of these microorganisms in metal bioremediation. Furthermore, it will also help to understand how metal availability impacts primary production in the oceans. In this review, we will focus on copper, nickel, cobalt and arsenic (a toxic metalloid) metabolism, which has been mainly analyzed in model cyanobacterium Synechocystis sp. PCC 6803. View Full-Text
Keywords: metal homeostasis; copper; nickel; cobalt; arsenic; metal transport metal homeostasis; copper; nickel; cobalt; arsenic; metal transport
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Huertas, M.J.; López-Maury, L.; Giner-Lamia, J.; Sánchez-Riego, A.M.; Florencio, F.J. Metals in Cyanobacteria: Analysis of the Copper, Nickel, Cobalt and Arsenic Homeostasis Mechanisms. Life 2014, 4, 865-886.

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