Copper is an essential trace element participating in many vital biological processes, however it becomes a toxic agent when in excess. Thus, precise and tight regulation of copper homeostasis processes, including transport, delivery, storage, detoxification, and efflux machineries, is important, ensuring that only the amount needed to sustain basic biological functions and simultaneously prevent copper toxicity in the cell is maintained. Numerous exciting studies have revealed that copper plays an indispensable role at the microbial pathogen-host axis for entities ranging from pathogenic bacteria to deadly fungal species. Analyses of copper homeostases in bacteria and fungi extensively demonstrate that copper is utilized by the host immune system as an anti-microbial agent. The expression of copper efflux and detoxification from microbial pathogens is induced to counteract the host’s copper bombardment, which in turn disrupts these machineries, resulting in the attenuation of microbial survival in host tissue. We hereby review the latest work in copper homeostases in pathogenic bacteria and fungi and focus on the maintenance of a copper balance at the pathogen-host interaction axis.
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