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Escherichia coli mechanisms of copper homeostasis in a changing environment.

Fems Microbiology Reviews

Copper, metabolism, Oxidoreductases, Models, Genetic, Ion Transport, Homeostasis, Escherichia coli Proteins, genetics, enzymology, cytology, Escherichia coli, Environment, chemistry

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      Abstract

      Escherichia coli is equipped with multiple systems to ensure safe copper handling under varying environmental conditions. The Cu(I)-translocating P-type ATPase CopA, the central component in copper homeostasis, is responsible for removing excess Cu(I) from the cytoplasm. The multi-copper oxidase CueO and the multi-component copper transport system CusCFBA appear to safeguard the periplasmic space from copper-induced toxicity. Some strains of E. coli can survive in copper-rich environments that would normally overwhelm the chromosomally encoded copper homeostatic systems. Such strains possess additional plasmid-encoded genes that confer copper resistance. The pco determinant encodes genes that detoxify copper in the periplasm, although the mechanism is still unknown. Genes involved in copper homeostasis are regulated by MerR-like activators responsive to cytoplasmic Cu(I) or two-component systems sensing periplasmic Cu(I). Pathways of copper uptake and intracellular copper handling are still not identified in E. coli.

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      Most cited references 150

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      Multicopper Oxidases and Oxygenases.

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        Microbial heavy-metal resistance.

        We are just beginning to understand the metabolism of heavy metals and to use their metabolic functions in biotechnology, although heavy metals comprise the major part of the elements in the periodic table. Because they can form complex compounds, some heavy metal ions are essential trace elements, but, essential or not, most heavy metals are toxic at higher concentrations. This review describes the workings of known metal-resistance systems in microorganisms. After an account of the basic principles of homoeostasis for all heavy-metal ions, the transport of the 17 most important (heavy metal) elements is compared.
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          Efflux-mediated heavy metal resistance in prokaryotes.

          What makes a heavy metal resistant bacterium heavy metal resistant? The mechanisms of action, physiological functions, and distribution of metal-exporting proteins are outlined, namely: CBA efflux pumps driven by proteins of the resistance-nodulation-cell division superfamily, P-type ATPases, cation diffusion facilitator and chromate proteins, NreB- and CnrT-like resistance factors. The complement of efflux systems of 63 sequenced prokaryotes was compared with that of the heavy metal resistant bacterium Ralstonia metallidurans. This comparison shows that heavy metal resistance is the result of multiple layers of resistance systems with overlapping substrate specificities, but unique functions. Some of these systems are widespread and serve in the basic defense of the cell against superfluous heavy metals, but some are highly specialized and occur only in a few bacteria. Possession of the latter systems makes a bacterium heavy metal resistant.
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            12829268

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