Mechanisms of the copper-dependent turnover of the copper chaperone for superoxide dismutase. Academic Article uri icon


  • The copper chaperone for superoxide dismutase (CCS) is an intracellular metallochaperone required for incorporation of copper into the essential antioxidant enzyme copper/zinc superoxide dismutase (SOD1). Nutritional studies have revealed that the abundance of CCS is inversely proportional to the dietary and tissue copper content. To determine the mechanisms of copper-dependent regulation of CCS, copper incorporation into SOD1 and SOD1 enzymatic activity as well as CCS abundance and half-life were determined after metabolic labeling of CCS-/- fibroblasts transfected with wild-type or mutant CCS. Wild-type CCS restored SOD1 activity in CCS-/- fibroblasts, and the abundance of this chaperone in these cells was inversely proportional to the copper content of the media, indicating that copper-dependent regulation of CCS is entirely post-translational. Although mutational studies demonstrated no role for CCS Domain I in this copper-dependent regulation, similar analysis of the CXC motif in Domain III revealed a critical role for these cysteine residues in mediating copper-dependent turnover of CCS. Further mutational studies revealed that this CXC-dependent copper-mediated turnover of CCS is independent of the mechanisms of delivery of copper to SOD1 including CCS-SOD1 interaction. Taken together these data demonstrate a mechanism determining the abundance of CCS that is competitive with the process of copper delivery to SOD1, revealing a unique post-translational component of intracellular copper homeostasis.

publication date

  • May 12, 2006