Crystal Structure of Klebsiella aerogenes UreE, a Nickel-binding Metallochaperone for Urease Activation

Hyun Kyu Song, Scott B. Mulrooney, Robert Huber, Robert P. Hausinger

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

86 Citations (Scopus)


UreE is proposed to be a metallochaperone that delivers nickel ions to urease during activation of this bacterial virulence factor. Wild-type Klebsiella aerogenes UreE binds approximately six nickel ions per homodimer, whereas H144*UreE (a functional C-terminal truncated variant) was previously reported to bind two. We determined the structure of H144*UreE by multi-wavelength anomalous diffraction and refined it to 1.5 Å resolution. The present structure reveals an Hsp40-like peptide-binding domain, an Atx1-like metal-binding domain, and a flexible C terminus. Three metal-binding sites per dimer, defined by structural analysis of Cu-H144*UreE, are on the opposite face of the Atx1-like domain than observed in the copper metallochaperone. One metal bridges the two subunits via the pair of His-96 residues, whereas the other two sites involve metal coordination by His-110 and His-112 within each subunit. In contrast to the copper metallochaperone mechanism involving thiol ligand exchanges between structurally similar chaperones and target proteins, we propose that the Hsp40-like module interacts with urease apoprotein and/or other urease accessory proteins, while the Atx1-like domain delivers histidyl-bound nickel to the urease active site.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)49359-49364
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Issue number52
Publication statusPublished - 2001 Dec 28
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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