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Biochemistry. 1998 May 19;37(20):7572-7.

Characterization of the copper chaperone Cox17 of Saccharomyces cerevisiae.

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University of Utah Health Sciences Center, Salt Lake City 84132, USA.


Assembly of functional cytochrome oxidase in yeast requires Cox17, which has been postulated to deliver copper ions to the mitochondrion for insertion into the enzyme. This role for Cox17 is supported by the observation that it binds copper as a binuclear cuprous-thiolate cluster. X-ray absorption spectroscopy, together with UV-visible absorption and emission spectroscopy, indicates the presence of bound cuprous ions, trigonally coordinated by thiolate ligands. Analysis of the EXAFS shows three Cu-S bonds at 2.26 A, plus a short Cu-Cu distance of 2.7 A, indicating a binuclear cluster in Cox17. The cuprous-thiolate cluster in Cox17 is substantially more labile than structurally related clusters in metallothioneins.

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