The intersection of host and fungus through the zinc lens

Duncan Wilson, George S. Deepe (Corresponding Author)

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)


In this review, we summarize data regarding the influence of zinc on host defenses to human pathogenic fungi and how the fungus acquires zinc to sustain biological functions. Mammals have evolved several extracellular and intracellular mechanisms to withhold zinc from the fungus. Specific immune cells release zinc binding proteins such as calprotectin to capture the metal and deny it to the fungus. Intracellularly, several zinc binding proteins such as metallothioneins starve the fungus of zinc. The net result in both situations is depriving the fungus of a crucial micronutrient. To combat this struggle, fungi have developed means to capture zinc and store it. The mechanisms of transport for various fungi are discussed herein.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)35-40
Number of pages6
JournalCurrent Opinion in Microbiology
Early online date24 May 2019
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2019

Bibliographical note

Funding: this work was supported by a Sir Henry Dale Fellowship jointly funded by the Wellcome Trust and the Royal Society (102549/Z/13/Z), the MRC and University of Aberdeen (MR/N006364/1) (to DW) and by a grant AI106269 from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (to GSD).


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