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Methanobactin, a Copper-Acquisition Compound from Methane-Oxidizing Bacteria

Lookup NU author(s): Professor David Graham


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Siderophores are extracellular iron-binding compounds that mediate iron transport into many cells. We present evidence of analogous molecules for copper transport from methane-oxidizing bacteria, represented here by a small fluorescent chromopeptide (C45N12O14H62Cu; 1216 Da) produced by Methylosinus trichosporium OB3b. The crystal structure of this compound, methanobactin, was resolved to 1.15 Å. It is comprised of a tetrapeptide, a tripeptide, and several unique moieties, including two 4-thionyl-5-hydroxy-imidazole chromophores that coordinate the copper, a pyrrolidine that confers a bend in the overall chain, and a N-terminal isopropylester group. The copper coordination environment includes a dual N,S-donating system derived from the thionyl imidazolate moieties. Structural elucidation of this molecule has broad implications in terms of organo-copper chemistry, biological methane oxidation, and global carbon cycling.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Kim HJ, Graham DW, DiSpirito AA, Alterman MA, Galeva N, Larive CK, Asunskis D, Sherwood PMA

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Science

Year: 2004

Volume: 305

Issue: 5690

Pages: 1612-1615

Print publication date: 10/09/2004

ISSN (print): 0036-8075

ISSN (electronic): 1095-9203

Publisher: American Association for the Advancement of Science


DOI: 10.1126/science.1098322


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