The intracellular location of methane mono-oxygenase (MMO) activity in the methanotroph Methylococcus capsulatus (Bath) has been shown to depend primarily on the availability of copper. MMO activity was observed in the particulate fraction of cell extracts under conditions of copper excess but switched to a soluble location in response to copper stress. The two activities could be differentiated by sensitivity to a range of inhibitors and by major changes in the polypeptide banding patterns on denaturing polyacrylamide gels. MMO activity concomitant with the oxidation of ethanol was only observed in cells with particulate MMO activity but could be lost independently in response to copper stress. Examination of other methanotrophs indicated that the copper effect could explain a similar switch in intracellular location observed in Methylosinus trichosporium OB3b but that some methanotrophs do not have the capacity to overcome copper stress in this way.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology