Copper ATPase CopA from Escherichia coli : Quantitative correlation between ATPase activity and vectorial copper transport Academic Article uri icon


  • Cu-ATPases are membrane copper transporters present in all kingdoms of life. They play a central role in Cu homeostasis by pumping Cu ions across cell membranes with energy derived from ATP hydrolysis. In this work, the Cu-ATPase CopA from Escherichia coli was expressed and purified in fully functional form and demonstrated to bind Cu(I) with subfemtomolar affinity. It was incorporated into the lipid membrane of giant unilamellar vesicles (GUVs) whose dimensions match those of eukaryotic cells. An 1H NMR approach provided a quantitative ATPase activity assay for the enzyme either dissolved in detergent or embedded in GUV membranes. The activity varied with the Cu(I) availability in an optimized assay solution for either environment, demonstrating a direct correlation between ATPase activity and Cu(I) transport. Quantitative analysis of the Cu content trapped by the GUVs is consistent with a Cu:ATP turnover ratio of 1.


  • Wijekoon, Chathuri JK
  • Udagedara, Saumya R
  • Knorr, Roland L
  • Dimova, Rumiana
  • Wedd, Anthony G
  • Xiao, Zhiguang

publication date

  • 2017