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Measurement of cytoplasmic copper, silver, and gold with a lux biosensor shows copper and silver, but not gold, efflux by the CopA ATPase of Escherichia coli.

Stoyanov J.V., Magnani D., Solioz M.

Copper, silver, gold and other heavy metals are potentially toxic to cells. Copper is also essential and cellular levels must be carefully controlled. In contrast, there is no known biological role for silver or gold and they have not been recognized as metals that are under homeostatic control. Using a luminescent biosensor based of the Vibrio fischeri lux gene cluster under the control of the Escherichia coli copA promoter/CueR metal-responsive regulator, we could show that in E. coli, cytoplasmic copper and silver, but not gold, are regulated by the CopA ATPase, the major copper efflux pump.

FEBS Lett. 546:391-394(2003) [PubMed] [Europe PMC]

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