Molecular insight into extreme copper resistance in the extremophilic archaeon "Ferroplasma acidarmanus" Fer1

Craig Baker-Austin, Mark Dopson, Margaret Wexler, R. Gary Sawers, Philip L. Bond

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‘Ferroplasma acidarmanus’ strain Fer1 is an extremely acidophilic archaeon involved in the genesis of acid mine drainage, and was isolated from copper-contaminated mine solutions at Iron Mountain, CA, USA. Here, the initial proteomic and molecular investigation of Cu2+ resistance in this archaeon is presented. Analysis of Cu2+ toxicity via batch growth experiments and inhibition of oxygen uptake in the presence of ferrous iron demonstrated that Fer1 can grow and respire in the presence of 20 g Cu2+ l−1. The Fer1 copper resistance (cop) loci [originally detected by Ettema, T. J. G., Huynen, M. A., de Vos, W. M. & van der Oost, J. Trends Biochem Sci 28, 170–173 (2003)] include genes encoding a putative transcriptional regulator (copY), a putative metal-binding chaperone (copZ) and a putative copper-transporting P-type ATPase (copB). Transcription analyses demonstrated that copZ and copB are co-transcribed, and transcript levels were increased significantly in response to exposure to high levels of Cu2+, suggesting that the transport system is operating for copper efflux. Proteomic analysis of Fer1 cells exposed to Cu2+ revealed the induction of stress proteins associated with protein folding and DNA repair (including RadA, thermosome and DnaK homologues), suggesting that ‘Ferroplasma acidarmanus’ Fer1 uses multiple mechanisms for resistance to high levels of copper.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2637-2646
Number of pages10
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 2005

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