Copper-dependent protein-protein interactions studied by yeast two-hybrid analysis

E.M.W.M. Dongen, van, L.W.J. Klomp, M. Merkx

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An important step in copper homeostasis is delivery of copper to a specific P-type ATPase in the Golgi apparatus (Ccc2 in yeast, ATP7A and ATP7B in humans) by a small copper chaperone protein (Atx1 in yeast, ATOX1 in humans). Atx1 and ATOX1 both contain an MXCXXC motif that is also present in Ccc2 (two motifs) and ATP7A/B (six motifs). Protein–protein interactions probably require coordination of one Cu(I) by cysteines from both MXCXXC motifs. We applied yeast two-hybrid analysis to screen systematically all possible interactions between MXCXXC-containing domains in these proteins. We demonstrate that ATOX1 and Atx1 preferentially interact with domains 2 and 4 of ATP7B and that Atx1 interacts with both Ccc2 domains. All combinations show a remarkable bell-shaped dependency on copper concentration that is maximal just below normal copper levels. Our results suggest that yeast two-hybrid analysis can be used to study the intracellular copper status of a cell.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)789-795
JournalBiochemical and Biophysical Research Communications
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2004


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