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The biogenesis of c-type cytochromes (Cytc) is a process that in Gram-negative bacteria demands the coordinated action of different periplasmic proteins (CcmA-I), whose specific roles are still being investigated. Activities of Ccm proteins span from the chaperoning of heme b in the periplasm to the specific reduction of oxidized apocytochrome (apoCyt) cysteine residues and to chaperoning and recognition of the unfolded apoCyt before covalent attachment of the heme to the cysteine thiols can occur. We present here the functional characterization of the periplasmic domain of CcmI from the pathogen Pseudomonas aeruginosa (Pa-CcmI*). Pa-CcmI* is composed of a TPR domain and a peculiar C-terminal domain. Pa-CcmI* fulfills both the ability to recognize and bind to P. aeruginosa apo-cytochrome c551 (Pa-apoCyt) and a chaperoning activity towards unfolded proteins, as it prevents citrate synthase aggregation in a concentration-dependent manner. Equilibrium and kinetic experiments with Pa-CcmI*, or its isolated domains, with peptides mimicking portions of Pa-apoCyt sequence allow us to quantify the molecular details of the interaction between Pa-apoCyt and Pa-CcmI*. Binding experiments show that the interaction occurs at the level of the TPR domain and that the recognition is mediated mainly by the C-terminal sequence of Pa-apoCyt. The affinity of Pa-CcmI* to full-length Pa-apoCyt or to its C-terminal sequence is in the range expected for a component of a multi-protein complex, whose task is to receive the apoCyt and to deliver it to other components of the apoCyt:heme b ligation protein machinery. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.


Eva Di Silvio, Adele Di Matteo, Francesco Malatesta, Carlo Travaglini-Allocatelli. Recognition and binding of apocytochrome c to P. aeruginosa CcmI, a component of cytochrome c maturation machinery. Biochimica et biophysica acta. 2013 Aug;1834(8):1554-61

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PMID: 23648553

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