Zinc

New research sheds light on exactly how zinc can ‘starve’ Streptococcus pneumoniae by preventing its uptake of manganese.

Manganese is essential for S. pneumoniae to be able to invade and cause disease in humans. The researchers identified that the bacterial transporter that normally binds to manganese (PsaBCA) can also bind to zinc. However, the smaller size of zinc means that when it binds to the transporter, the mechanism closes too tightly. This causes the ‘spring-hammer’ mechanisms of PsaCA to unwind too far and jam shut, and it becomes unable to take up manganese.

Reference:

http://goo.gl/wyyUrY

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