**Seminars begin at 4:00 PM and will be held in Clark Hall Room 101**
April 25, 2014
Metal ion homeostasis is essential for all living organisms, and defects in the metal-trafficking proteins involved lead to a number of human diseases. A viable metal-trafficking system must be able to distinguish one metal from another, and knowledge of how this is achieved is lacking. The nickel trafficking system is attractive for study from the standpoint that the number of targets (enzymes dependent on nickel) is small, and thus the traffic pattern is simple, though it features the proteins that perform the functions that are essential to all transition metal trafficking systems: controlling import and export (metallotransporters), targeting the delivery of metals to specific enzymes (metallochaperones) or involvement in metallocenter assembly (accessory proteins), and regulating the expression of the other proteins in response to metal ion availability (metalloregulators). In addition, since mammals utilize no known nickel-dependent enzymes, understanding of nickel trafficking may offer a useful antibiotic strategy. Studies aimed at determining how various proteins involved in nickel trafficking distinguish nickel from other metals will be described using examples from E. coli and Helicobacter pylori.