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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Mutagenesis reveals a specific role for Cox17p in copper transport to cytochrome oxidase.

The provision of copper to cytochrome oxidase is one of the requisite steps in the assembly of the holoenzyme. Several proteins are involved in this process including Cox17p, Sco1p, and Cox11p. Cox17p, an 8-kDa protein, is the only molecule thought to be involved in shuttling copper from the cytoplasm into mitochondria. Given the small size of Cox17p, we have taken a random and site-directed mutagenesis approach to studying structure-function relationships in Cox17p. Mutations have been generated in 70% of the Cox17p amino acid residues, with only a small subset leading to a detectable respiration-deficient phenotype. We have characterized the respiration-deficient cox17 mutants and found in addition to the expected cytochrome oxidase deficiency, a specific lack of Cox2p and the presence of a misassembled cytochrome oxidase in a subset of mutants. These results suggest that Cox17p is involved upstream of Sco1p in delivering copper specifically to subunit 2 of cytochrome oxidase and predict the existence of a subunit 1-specific copper chaperone.[1]


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