The multicopper oxidase of Pseudomonas aeruginosa is a ferroxidase essential for iron acquisition
Huston, Wilhelmina M., Jennings, Michael P., & McEwan, Alastair G. (2002) The multicopper oxidase of Pseudomonas aeruginosa is a ferroxidase essential for iron acquisition. Molecular Microbiology, 45(6), pp. 1741-1750.
Recently it has been observed that multicopper oxidases are present in a number of microbial genomes, raising the question of their function in prokaryotes. Here we describe the analysis of an mco mutant from the opportunistic pathogen Pseudomonas aeruginosa. Unlike wild-type Pseudomonas aeruginosa, the mco mutant was unable to grow aerobically on minimal media with Fe(II) as sole iron source. In contrast, both the wild-type and mutant strain were able to grow either anaerobically via denitrification with Fe(II) or aerobically with Fe(III). Analysis of iron uptake showed that the mco mutant was impaired in Fe(II) uptake but unaffected in Fe(III) uptake. Purification and analysis of the MCO protein confirmed ferroxidase activity. Taken together, these data show that the mco gene encodes a multicopper oxidase that is involved in the oxidation of Fe(II) to Fe(III) subsequent to its acquisition by the cell. In view of the widespread distribution of the mco gene in bacteria, it is suggested that an iron acquisition mechanism involving multicopper oxidases may be an important and hitherto unrecognized feature of bacterial pathogenicity.
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