Transition metals and host-microbe interactions in the inflamed intestine

Wenhan Zhu, Luisella Spiga, Sebastian Winter

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Host-associated microbial communities provide critical functions for their hosts. Transition metals are essential for both the mammalian host and the majority of commensal bacteria. As such, access to transition metals is an important component of host-microbe interactions in the gastrointestinal tract. In mammals, transition metal ions are often sequestered by metal binding proteins to limit microbial access under homeostatic conditions. In response to invading pathogens, the mammalian host further decreases availability of these micronutrients by regulating their trafficking or releasing high-affinity metal chelating proteins, a process termed nutritional immunity. Bacterial pathogens have evolved several mechanisms to subvert nutritional immunity. Here, we provide an overview on how metal ion availability shapes host-microbe interactions in the gut with a particular focus on intestinal inflammatory diseases.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)369-384
Number of pages16
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 1 2019


  • Enteric pathogens
  • Gut microbiota
  • Intestinal inflammation
  • Transition metals

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biomaterials
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
  • Metals and Alloys


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