X-ray absorption spectroscopy of cuprous-thiolate clusters in Saccharomyces cerevisiae metallothionein

Limei Zhang, Ingrid J. Pickering, Dennis R. Winge, Graham N. George

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


Copper (Cu) metallothioneins are cuprous-thiolate proteins that contain multimetallic clusters, and are thought to have dual functions of Cu storage and Cu detoxification. We have used a combination of X-ray absorption spectroscopy (XAS) and density-functional theory (DFT) to investigate the nature of Cu binding to Saccharomyces cerevisiae metallothionein. We found that the XAS of metallothionein prepared, containing a full complement of Cu, was quantitatively consistent with the crystal structure, and that reconstitution of the apo-metallothionein with stoichiometric Cu results in the formation of a tetracopper cluster, indicating cooperative binding of the Cu ions by the metallothionein.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2042-2049
Number of pages8
JournalChemistry and Biodiversity
Issue number10
StatePublished - 2008
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Bioengineering
  • Biochemistry
  • Chemistry(all)
  • Molecular Medicine
  • Molecular Biology


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