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Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 1999 Jun 7;259(2):443-9.

Effects of promoter mutations on the in vivo regulation of the cop operon of Enterococcus hirae by copper(I) and copper(II).

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Department of Clinical Pharmacology, University of Berne, Berne, 3010, Switzerland.


The cop operon of Enterococcus hirae encodes a repressor, CopY, a copper chaperone, CopZ, and two copper ATPases, CopA and CopB. Regulation of the cop operon is bi-phasic, with copper addition as well as copper chelation leading to induction. Using a plasmid-borne system with a reporter gene, induction of wild-type and mutant cop promoters by high and low copper conditions was investigated. Only mutations that impaired the interaction of CopY with both DNA binding sites had a marked effect on regulation, leading to hyperinduction by copper(I) or copper(II). Chelation of copper(II), but not copper(I), also induced the operon, but induction by copper chelation was not significantly affected by the mutations. E. hirae mutants with reduced extracellular copper reductase activity exhibited the same induction kinetics as wild-type cells. These results show that copper addition and copper chelation induce the cop operon by different routes.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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