Exploring the role of the various methionine residues in the Escherichia coli CusB adapter protein

Aviv Meir, Gulshan Walke, Fabian Schwerdtfeger, Lada Gevorkyan Airapetov, Sharon Ruthstein

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7 Scopus citations


The dissemination of resistant pathogenic microbes has become one of the most challenging problems that modern medicine has faced. Developing novel drugs based on new molecular targets that previously were not targeted, is therefore the highest priority in antibiotics research. One approach that has been recently suggested is to inhibit copper transporters in prokaryotic systems. Copper is required for many biological pathways, but sometimes it can harm the cell. Pathogenic systems have a highly sophisticated copper-regulation network; therefore, a better understanding of how this network operates at the molecular level should assist in developing the next generation of antibiotics. The CusB protein is part of the CusCBA periplasmic Cu(I) efflux system in Gram-negative bacteria, and was recently reported to play a key role in the functioning of the whole CusCBA system, in which conformational changes as well as the assembly/disassembly process control the opening of the transporter. More knowledge of the underlying mechanism is needed to attain a full understanding of CusB functioning, which is associated with targeting specific and crucial residues in CusB. Here, we combine in-vitro structural measurements, which use EPR spectroscopy and UV-Vis measurements, with cell experiments to explore the role of the various methionine residues in CusB. We targeted two methionine residues (M227 and M241) that are essential for the proper functioning of CusB.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0219337
JournalPLoS ONE
Issue number8
StatePublished - 1 Aug 2019

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© 2019 Meir et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.


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