All eukaryotes require iron although iron is not readily bioavailable. Organisms expend much effort in acquiring iron and in response have evolved multiple mechanisms to acquire iron. Because iron is essential, organisms prioritize the iron use when iron is limiting; iron-sparing enzymes or metabolic pathways are utilized at the expense of iron-rich enzymes. A large percentage of cellular iron containing proteins is devoted to oxygen binding or metabolism, therefore, changes in oxygen availability affect iron usage. Transcriptional and post-transcriptional mechanisms have been shown to affect the concentration of iron-containing proteins under iron or oxygen limiting conditions. In this review, we describe how the budding yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae utilizes multiple mechanisms to optimize iron usage under iron limiting conditions.
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