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

The structural homology of amicyanin from Thiobacillus versutus to plant plastocyanins.

The complete amino acid sequence of the blue copper protein amicyanin of Thiobacillus versutus, induced when the bacterium is grown on methylamine, has been determined as follows: QDKITVTSEKPVAAADVPADAVVVGIEKMKYLTPEVTIKAGETVYWVNGEVMPHNVA FKKGIVGEDAFRGEMMTKDQAYAITFNEAGSYDYFCTPHPFMRGKVIVE. The four copper ligand residues in this 106-residue-containing polypeptide chain are His54, Cys93, His96, and Met99. The Thiobacillus amicyanin is 52% similar to the amicyanin of Pseudomonas AM1, the only other copper protein known with the same spacing between the second histidine ligand and the methionine ligand. T. versutus amicyanin contains no cysteine bridge and is more closely related to the plant copper protein plastocyanin than to the bacterial copper protein azurin. Alignment of the two known amicyanin sequences with the consensus sequence of the plastocyanins and comparison with the known three-dimensional structure of poplar leaves plastocyanin reveals that the bacterial proteins have the same overall structure with two beta-sheets packed face to face. The major structural differences between the amicyanins and the plastocyanins appear to be located in two of the five loops that connect the six identified beta-strands of the amicyanins. The first of these two loops, connecting strands F and G, contains a ligand histidine and must have a different conformation from the same loop in the plastocyanins because it is shorter by two amino acids. Further differences occur in the loop connecting the strands D and E. This loop contains only 17 residues in amicyanin whereas the corresponding loop of plastocyanin contains 25 residues. Despite these differences the amicyanins appear much closer related to the plastocyanins than to the azurins. The present findings demonstrate that the occurrence of blue copper proteins with clearly plastocyanin-like features is not restricted to photosynthetic redox chains.[1]


  1. The structural homology of amicyanin from Thiobacillus versutus to plant plastocyanins. Van Beeumen, J., Van Bun, S., Canters, G.W., Lommen, A., Chothia, C. J. Biol. Chem. (1991) [Pubmed]
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