Functional analysis of the multi-copper oxidase from Legionella pneumophila

Wilhelmina M. Huston, Jennifer Naylor, Nicholas P. Cianciotto, Michael P. Jennings, Alastair G. McEwan*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


Multicopper oxidases have been described to have functions in copper tolerance, manganese oxidation, and iron oxidation in a range of bacteria. The putative cytoplasmic membrane multicopper oxidase from Legionella pneumophila was investigated. The mcoL gene was found to be critical for aerobic extracellular growth under either iron-limiting conditions or in the presence of ferrous Fe(II) iron, as a sole source of this essential metal. The mcoL mutants showed minor growth defects when grown in the presence of Fe(III) as the iron source. In contrast, intracellular growth and survival was not affected by the absence of the mcoL gene regardless of available iron concentration. The evidence presented here could indicate a possible role for mcoL in prevention of the toxic effects of ferrous iron during aerobic conditions. However, a function in high-affinity acquisition of iron could also be possible given the inability of the McoL mutants to grow aerobically under iron-limiting conditions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)497-503
Number of pages7
JournalMicrobes and Infection
Issue number5
StatePublished - Apr 2008


  • Iron
  • Legionella
  • Multicopper oxidase

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology
  • Immunology
  • Infectious Diseases


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