1887

Abstract

Using a comparative genomics approach, a copper resistance gene cluster has been identified in multiple archaeal genomes. The cluster is predicted to encode a metallochaperone (CopM), a P-type copper-exporting ATPase (CopA) and a novel, archaea-specific transcriptional regulator (CopT) which might control the expression of the genes. Sequence analysis revealed that CopT has an N-terminal DNA-binding helix–turn–helix domain and a C-terminal TRASH domain; TRASH is a novel domain which has recently been proposed to be uniquely involved in metal-binding in sensors, transporters and trafficking proteins in prokaryotes. The present study describes the molecular characterization of the gene cluster in the thermoacidophilic crenarchaeon . The polycistronic transcript was found to accumulate in response to growth-inhibiting copper concentrations, whereas transcript abundance appeared to be constitutive. DNA-binding assays revealed that CopT binds to the promoter at multiple sites, both upstream and downstream of the predicted TATA-BRE site. Copper was found to specifically modulate the affinity of DNA binding by CopT. This study describes a copper-responsive operon in archaea, a new family of archaeal DNA-binding proteins, and supports the idea that this domain plays a prominent role in the archaeal copper response. A model is proposed for copper-responsive transcriptional regulation of the gene cluster.

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2006-07-01
2020-11-24
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