Copper Homeostatic Mechanisms and Their Role in the Virulence of Escherichia coli and Salmonella enterica.
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Copper is an essential micronutrient that also exerts toxic effects at high concentrations. This review summarizes the current state of knowledge on copper handling and homeostasis systems in Escherichia coli and Salmonella enterica. We describe the mechanisms by which transcriptional regulators, efflux pumps, detoxification enzymes, metallochaperones, and ancillary copper response systems orchestrate cellular response to copper stress. E. coli and S. enterica are important pathogens of humans and animals. We discuss the critical role of copper during killing of these pathogens by macrophages and in nutritional immunity at the bacterial-pathogen-host interface. In closing, we identify opportunities to advance our understanding of the biological roles of copper in these model enteric bacterial pathogens.