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A multicopper oxidase contributes to the copper tolerance of Brucella melitensis 16M.

FEMS microbiology letters (2015-05-10)
Tonglei Wu, Shaohua Wang, Zhen Wang, Xiaowei Peng, Yanli Lu, Qingmin Wu
ABSTRACT

Copper is a potent antimicrobial agent. Multiple mechanisms of copper tolerance are utilized by some pathogenic bacteria. BMEII0580, which is significantly similar to the multicopper oxidase from Escherichia coli, was predicted to be the probable blue copper protein YacK precursor in Brucella melitensis 16M, and was designated as Brucella multicopper oxidase (BmcO). A bioinformatics analysis indicated that the typical motifs of multicopper oxidases are present in BmcO. BmcO, the expression of which was up-regulated by copper, could catalyze the oxidation of 2,2-azino-bis(3-ethylbenzothiazoline-6-sulfonic acid) (ABTS), dimethoxyphenol (DMP) and para-phenylenediamine (pPD), which are widely used as substrates for multicopper oxidase. Additionally, BmcO exhibited ferroxidase activity, which indicated that it might play an important role in the Fe(2+) uptake of B. melitensis. Importantly, the mutant strain 16MΔbmcO was more sensitive to copper than the wild-type strain B. melitensis 16M as well as its complementation strain 16MΔbmcO(bmcO). The infection assays of cells showed that similar bacterial numbers of B. melitensis 16M, 16MΔbmcO and 16MΔbmcO(bmcO) strains were recovered from the infected macrophages. This result indicated that BmcO was not essential for B. melitensis intracellular growth. In conclusion, our results confirm that BmcO is a multicopper oxidase and contributes to the copper tolerance of B. melitensis 16M.

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