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J Biol Chem. 2000 Oct 27;275(43):33244-51.

Characterization of the Saccharomyces cerevisiae high affinity copper transporter Ctr3.

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  • 1Department of Biological Chemistry, University of Michigan Medical School, Ann Arbor, Michigan 48109-0606, USA.


Copper is an essential nutrient required for the activity of a number of enzymes with diverse biological roles. In the bakers' yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae, copper is transported into cells by two high affinity copper transport proteins, Ctr1 and Ctr3. Although Ctr1 and Ctr3 are functionally redundant, they bear little homology at the amino acid sequence level. In this report, we characterize Ctr3 with respect to its localization, assembly, and post-transcriptional regulation. Ctr3 is an integral membrane protein that assembles as a trimer to form a competent copper uptake permease at the plasma membrane. Whereas the CTR1 and CTR3 genes are similarly regulated at the transcriptional level in response to copper, post-transcriptional regulation of these proteins is distinct. Unlike Ctr1, the Ctr3 transporter is neither regulated at the level of protein degradation nor endocytosis as a function of elevated copper levels. Our studies suggest that Ctr3 constitutes a fundamental module found in all eukaryotic high affinity copper transporters to date, which is sufficient for copper uptake but lacks elements for post-transcriptional regulation by copper.

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