PrrC from Rhodobacter sphaeroides, a homologue of eukaryotic Sco proteins, is a copper-binding protein and may have a thiol-disulfide oxidoreductase activity

Alastair G McEwan, Allison Lewin, Sharon L Davy, Ruth Boetzel, Andrew Leech, Daniel Walker, Tania Wood, Geoffrey R Moore

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

48 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

PrrC from Rhodobacter sphaeroides provides the signal input to a two-component signal transduction system that senses changes in oxygen tension and regulates expression of genes involved in photosynthesis (Eraso, J.M. and Kaplan, S. (2000) Biochemistry 39, 2052-2062; Oh, J.-I. and Kaplan, S. (2000) EMBO J. 19, 4237-4247). It is also a homologue of eukaryotic Sco proteins and each has a C-x-x-x-C-P sequence. In mitochondrial Sco proteins these cysteines appear to be essential for the biogenesis of the CuA centre of respiratory cytochrome oxidase. Overexpression and purification of a water-soluble and monomeric form of PrrC has provided sufficient material for a chemical and spectroscopic study of the properties of the four cysteine residues of PrrC, and its ability to bind divalent cations, including copper. PrrC expressed in the cytoplasm of Escherichia coli binds Ni2+ tightly and the data are consistent with a mononuclear metal site. Following removal of Ni2+ and formation of renatured metal-free rPrrC (apo-PrrC), Cu2+ could be loaded into the reduced form of PrrC to generate a protein with a distinctive UV-visible spectrum, having absorbance with a λ max of 360 nm. The copper:PrrC ratio is consistent with the presence of a mononuclear metal centre. The cysteines of metal-free PrrC oxidise in the presence of air to form two intramolecular disulfide bonds, with one pair being extremely reactive. The cysteine thiols with extreme O2 sensitivity are involved in copper binding in reduced PrrC since the same copper-loaded protein could not be generated using oxidised PrrC. Thus, it appears that PrrC, and probably Sco proteins in general, could have both a thiol-disulfide oxidoreductase function and a copper-binding role.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)10-16
Number of pages7
JournalFEBS Letters
Volume518
Issue number1-3
Early online date9 Apr 2002
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 8 May 2002

Keywords

  • PrrC
  • Sco
  • cytochrome oxidase
  • photosynthesis response regulation
  • copper protein

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