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

Department of Clinical Pharmacology, University of Berne, Berne, 3010, Switzerland.
Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications (Impact Factor: 2.28). 07/1999; 259(2):443-9. DOI: 10.1006/bbrc.1999.0807
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT 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.

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    Journal of Inorganic Biochemistry 07/2003; 96(1):54-54. · 3.27 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The cop operon is a key element of copper homeostasis in Enterococcus hirae. It encodes two copper ATPases, CopA and CopB, the CopY repressor, and the CopZ metallochaperone. It was previously shown that the transcription of the operon is induced by copper. The concomitant increase in the levels of Cop proteins, particularly the CopB copper export ATPase, allows uncompromised growth of E. hirae in up to 5 mmambient copper. We here show by Western blotting that the steady-state level of CopZ was increased only up to 0.5 mm copper. At higher copper concentrations, the level of CopZ was decreased and became undetectable at 5 mm media copper. When CopZ was overexpressed from a plasmid, the cells exhibited increased sensitivity to copper and oxidative stress, suggesting that high CopZ expression could become toxic to cells. In wild-type cells, the level of mRNA transcripts from the cop operon remained high in up to 5 mm copper, suggesting that CopZ was proteolyzed. Cell extracts were found to contain a copper-activated proteolytic activity that degraded CopZ in vitro. In this assay, Cu-CopZ was more susceptible to degradation than apo-CopZ. The growth of E. hirae in copper increased the copper-inducible proteolytic activity in extracts. Zymographic studies showed the presence of a copper-dependent protease in crude cell lysates. Thus, copper-stimulated proteolysis plays an important role in the regulation of copper homeostasis in E. hirae.
    Journal of Biological Chemistry 12/2001; 276(51):47822-47827. · 4.60 Impact Factor

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