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Microbiology. 2008 Jun;154(Pt 6):1739-47. doi: 10.1099/mic.0.2007/014696-0.

Escherichia coli heat-shock proteins IbpA/B are involved in resistance to oxidative stress induced by copper.

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Department of Biochemistry, University of Gdańsk, Kładki 24, 80-952 Gdańsk, Poland.


The small heat-shock proteins IbpA/B are molecular chaperones that bind denatured proteins and facilitate their subsequent refolding by the ATP-dependent chaperones DnaK, DnaJ, GrpE and ClpB. In this report, we demonstrate that IbpA/B participate in the defence against copper-induced stress under aerobic conditions. In the presence of oxygen, DeltaibpA/B cells exhibit increased sensitivity to copper ions and accumulate elevated amounts of oxidized proteins, while under oxygen depletion, the DeltaibpA/B mutation has no effect on copper tolerance. This indicates that IbpA/B protect Escherichia coli cells from oxidative damage caused by copper. We show that AdhE, one of the proteins exposed to oxidation, is protected by IbpA/B against copper-mediated inactivation both in vivo and in vitro.

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