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FEMS Microbiol Lett. 1996 Dec 1;145(2):181-8.

Helicobacter pylori genes hpcopA and hpcopP constitute a cop operon involved in copper export.

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Department of Medical Microbiology and Immunology, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Canada.


We previously reported that a gene hpcopA isolated from Helicobacter pylori is associated with copper transport. In the present study, the DNA upstream of the hpcopA was cloned and the nucleotide sequence analyzed. An open reading frame coding for 124 amino acids was predicted, which was connected in frame to the hpcopA. The deduced protein sequence exhibits striking homology with known copper-transporting P-type ATPases. Disruption of this ORF renders H. pylori hypersensitive to copper present in growth media, indicating that it encodes the N-terminal amino acid sequence of the hpCopA protein. Measurement of copper content in the wild-type and hpcopA-disrupted cells showed that the copper content was increased in the mutant cells, further supporting that the previous proposal that the gene hpcopA is involved in copper export. In addition, the cop operon consisting of the genes hpcopA and hpcopP was identified by primer extension and reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction. Our results indicate that the genes for copper import and export are located in separate operons within H. pylori.

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