The Scs disulfide reductase system cooperates with the metallochaperone CueP in Salmonella copper resistance.J Biol Chem. 2019 11 01; 294(44):15876-15888.JB
The human pathogen Salmonella enterica serovar Typhimurium (S Typhimurium) contains a complex disulfide bond (Dsb) catalytic machinery. This machinery encompasses multiple Dsb thiol-disulfide oxidoreductases that mediate oxidative protein folding and a less-characterized suppressor of copper sensitivity (scs) gene cluster, associated with increased tolerance to copper. To better understand the function of the Salmonella Scs system, here we characterized two of its key components, the membrane protein ScsB and the periplasmic protein ScsC. Our results revealed that these two proteins form a redox pair in which the electron transfer from the periplasmic domain of ScsB (n-ScsB) to ScsC is thermodynamically driven. We also demonstrate that the Scs reducing pathway remains separate from the Dsb oxidizing pathways and thereby avoids futile redox cycles. Additionally, we provide new insight into the molecular mechanism underlying Scs-mediated copper tolerance in Salmonella We show that both ScsB and ScsC can bind toxic copper(I) with femtomolar affinities and transfer it to the periplasmic copper metallochaperone CueP. Our results indicate that the Salmonella Scs machinery has evolved a dual mode of action, capable of transferring reducing power to the oxidizing periplasm and protecting against copper stress by cooperating with the cue regulon, a major copper resistance mechanism in Salmonella. Overall, these findings expand our understanding of the functional diversity of Dsb-like systems, ranging from those mediating oxidative folding of proteins required for infection to those contributing to defense mechanisms against oxidative stress and copper toxicity, critical traits for niche adaptation and survival.