Eukaryotic cells contain dozens, perhaps hundreds, of iron-dependent proteins, which perform critical functions in nearly every major cellular process. Nutritional iron is frequently available to cells in only limited amounts; thus, unicellular and higher eukaryotes have evolved mechanisms to cope with iron scarcity. These mechanisms have been studied at the molecular level in the model eukaryotes Saccharomyces cerevisiae and Schizosaccharomyces pombe, as well as in some pathogenic fungi. Each of these fungal species exhibits metabolic adaptations to iron deficiency that serve to reduce the cell's reliance on iron. However, the regulatory mechanisms that accomplish these adaptations differ greatly between fungal species. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled: Cell Biology of Metals.
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