Grace E. Kenney, Amy C. Rosenzweig

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Copper-binding metallophores, or chalkophores, play a role in microbial copper homeostasis that is analogous to that of siderophores in iron homeostasis. The best-studied chalkophores are members of the methanobactin (Mbn) family - ribosomally produced, posttranslationally modified natural products first identified as copper chelators responsible for copper uptake in methane-oxidizing bacteria. To date, Mbns have been characterized exclusively in those species, but there is genomic evidence for their production in a much wider range of bacteria. This review addresses the current state of knowledge regarding the function, biosynthesis, transport, and regulation of Mbns. While the roles of several proteins in these processes are supported by substantial genetic and biochemical evidence, key aspects of Mbn manufacture, handling, and regulation remain unclear. In addition, other natural products that have been proposed to mediate copper uptake as well as metallophores that have biologically relevant roles involving copper binding, but not copper uptake, are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)645-676
Number of pages32
JournalAnnual review of biochemistry
StatePublished - Jun 20 2018


  • bioinorganic chemistry
  • chalkophore
  • copper homeostasis
  • metallophore
  • methanobactin
  • natural product
  • siderophore

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry

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