Copper distributed by Atx1 is available to copper amine oxidase 1 in schizosaccharomyces pombe

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Copper amine oxidases (CAOs) have been proposed to be involved in the metabolism of xenobiotic and biogenic amines. The requirement for copper is absolute for their activity. In the fission yeast Schizosaccharomyces pombe, cao1+ and cao2+ genes are predicted to encode members of the CAO family. While both genes are expressed in wild-type cells, we determined that the expression of only cao1+ but not cao2+ results in the production of an active enzyme. Site-directed mutagenesis identified three histidine residues within the C-terminal region of Cao1 that are necessary for amine oxidase activity. By use of a cao1+-GFP allele that retained wild-type function, Cao1-GFP was localized in the cytosol (GFP is green fluorescent protein). Under copper-limiting conditions, disruption of ctr4+, ctr5+, and cuf1+ produced a defect in amine oxidase activity, indicating that a functionally active Cao1 requires Ctr4/5-mediated copper transport and the transcription factor Cuf1. Likewise, atx1 null cells exhibited substantially decreased levels of amine oxidase activity. In contrast, deletion of ccc2, cox17, and pccs had no significant effect on Cao1 activity. Residual amine oxidase activity in cells lacking atx1+ can be restored to normal levels by returning an atx1+ allele, underscoring the critical importance of the presence of Atx1 in cells. Using two-hybrid analysis, we demonstrated that Cao1 physically interacts with Atx1 and that this association is comparable to that of Atx1 with the N-terminal region of Ccc2. Collectively, these results describe the first example of the ability of Atx1 to act as a copper carrier for a molecule other than Ccc2 and its critical role in delivering copper to Cao1.

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