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Mol Microbiol. 2015 Aug;97(3):423-38. doi: 10.1111/mmi.13038. Epub 2015 May 20.

Distinct functions of serial metal-binding domains in the Escherichia coli P1 B -ATPase CopA.

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Department of Biophysics, Ruhr University Bochum, Universitätsstr. 150, D-44801, Bochum, Germany.


P1 B -ATPases are among the most common resistance factors to metal-induced stress. Belonging to the superfamily of P-type ATPases, they are capable of exporting transition metal ions at the expense of adenosine triphosphate (ATP) hydrolysis. P1 B -ATPases share a conserved structure of three cytoplasmic domains linked by a transmembrane domain. In addition, they possess a unique class of domains located at the N-terminus. In bacteria, these domains are primarily associated with metal binding and either occur individually or as serial copies of each other. Within this study, the roles of the two adjacent metal-binding domains (MBDs) of CopA, the copper export ATPase of Escherichia coli were investigated. From biochemical and physiological data, we deciphered the protein-internal pathway of copper and demonstrate the distal N-terminal MBD to possess a function analogous to the metallochaperones of related prokaryotic copper resistance systems, that is its involvement in the copper transfer to the membrane-integral ion-binding sites of CopA. In contrast, the proximal domain MBD2 has a regulatory role by suppressing the catalytic activity of CopA in absence of copper. Furthermore, we propose a general functional divergence of tandem MBDs in P1 B -ATPases, which is governed by the length of the inter-domain linker.

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