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Durham University

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Publication details for Dr Karrera Djoko

Djoko, K. Y., Franiek, J. A., Edwards, J. L., Falsetta, M. L., Kidd, S. P., Potter, A. J., Chen, N. H., Apicella, M. A., Jennings, M. P. & McEwan, A. G. (2012). Phenotypic Characterization of a copA Mutant of Neisseria gonorrhoeae Identifies a Link between Copper and Nitrosative Stress. Infection and Immunity 80(3): 1065-1071.

Author(s) from Durham


NGO0579 is annotated copA in the Neisseria gonorrhoeae chromosome, suggesting that it encodes a cation-transporting ATPase specific for copper ions. Compared to wild-type cells, a copA mutant was more sensitive to killing by copper ions but not to other transition metals. The mutant also accumulated a greater amount of copper, consistent with the predicted role of CopA as a copper efflux pump. The copA mutant showed a reduced ability to invade and survive within human cervical epithelial cells, although its ability to form a biofilm on the surface of these cells was not significantly different from that of the wild type. In the presence of copper, the copA mutant exhibited increased sensitivity to killing by nitrite or nitric oxide. Therefore, we concluded that copper ion efflux catalyzed by CopA is linked to the nitrosative stress defense system of Neisseria gonorrhoeae. These observations suggest that copper may exert its effects as an antibacterial agent in the innate immune system via an interaction with reactive nitrogen species.