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Trends Biochem Sci. 2003 Apr;28(4):170-3.

TRASH: a novel metal-binding domain predicted to be involved in heavy-metal sensing, trafficking and resistance.

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  • 1Laboratory of Microbiology, Wageningen University and Research Center Hesselink van Suchtelenweg 4, NL-6703CT, Wageningen, The Netherlands. thijs.ettema@wur.nl


We describe a previously undetected domain - TRASH - containing a well-conserved cysteine motif that we anticipate to be involved in metal coordination. TRASH is encoded by multiple prokaryotic genomes and is present in transcriptional regulators, cation-transporting ATPases and hydrogenases, and is also present as a stand-alone module. The observed domain associations and conserved genome context of TRASH-encoding genes in prokaryotic genomes suggest that TRASH constitutes a novel component in metal trafficking and heavy-metal resistance. The role of the multiple copies of TRASH that are present in vertebrate proteins remains to be elucidated.

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