Biochimica et biophysica acta

The hierarchy of transition metal homeostasis: iron controls manganese accumulation in a unicellular cyanobacterium.

PMID 25261790


Iron and manganese are part of a small group of transition metals required for photosynthetic electron transport. Here, we present evidence for a functional link between iron and manganese homeostasis. In the unicellular cyanobacterium, Synechocystis sp. PCC 6803, Fe and Mn deprivation resulted in distinct modifications of the physiological status. The effect on growth and photosynthetic activity under Fe limitation were more severe than those observed under Mn limitation. Moreover, the intracellular elemental quotas of Fe and Mn were found to be linked. Fe limitation reduced the intracellular Mn quota. Mn limitation did not exert a reciprocal effect on Fe quotas. Microarray analysis comparing Mn and Fe limitation revealed a stark difference in the extent of the transcriptional response to the two limiting conditions, reflective of the physiological responses. The effects of Fe limitation on the transcriptional network are widespread while the effects on Mn limitation are highly specific. Our analysis also revealed an overlap in the transcriptional response of specific Fe and Mn transporters. This overlap provides a framework for explaining Fe limitation induced changes in Mn quotas.