Cu(I) recognition via cation-π and methionine interactions in CusF

Yi Xue, Anna V. Davis, Gurusamy Balakrishnan, Jay P. Stasser, Benjamin M. Staehlin, Pamela Focia, Thomas G. Spiro, James E. Penner-Hahn, Thomas V. O'Halloran*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

200 Scopus citations


Methionine-rich motifs have an important role in copper trafficking factors, including the CusF protein. Here we show that CusF uses a new metal recognition site wherein Cu(I) is tetragonally displaced from a Met 2His ligand plane toward a conserved tryptophan. Spectroscopic studies demonstrate that both thioether ligation and strong cation-π interactions with tryptophan stabilize metal binding. This novel active site chemistry affords mechanisms for control of adventitious metal redox and substitution chemistry.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)107-109
Number of pages3
JournalNature Chemical Biology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2008

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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