Substrate specificity and copper loading of the manganese-oxidizing multicopper oxidase Mnx from Bacillus sp. PL-12

Cristina N. Butterfield, Bradley M. Tebo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


Manganese(ii) oxidation in the environment is thought to be driven by bacteria because enzymatic catalysis is many orders of magnitude faster than the abiotic processes. The heterologously purified Mn oxidase (Mnx) from marine Bacillus sp. PL-12 is made up of the multicopper oxidase (MCO) MnxG and two small Cu and heme-binding proteins of unknown function, MnxE and MnxF. Mnx binds Cu and oxidizes both Mn(ii) and Mn(iii), generating Mn(iv) oxide minerals that resemble those found on the Bacillus spore surface. Spectroscopic techniques have illuminated details about the metallo-cofactors of Mnx, but very little is known about their requirement for catalytic activity, and even less is known about the substrate specificity of Mnx. Here we quantify the canonical MCO Cu and persistent peripheral Cu bound to Mnx, and test Mnx oxidizing ability toward different substrates at varying pH. Mn(ii) appears to be the best substrate in terms of kcat, but its oxidation does not follow Michaelis-Menten kinetics, instead showing a sigmoidal cooperative behavior. Mnx also oxidizes Fe(ii) substrate, but in a Michaelis-Menten manner and with a decreased activity, as well as organic substrates. The reduced metals are more rapidly consumed than the larger organic substrates, suggesting the hypothesis that the Mnx substrate site is small and tuned for metal oxidation. Of biological relevance is the result that Mnx has the highest catalytic efficiency for Mn(ii) at the pH of sea water, especially when the protein is loaded with greater than the requisite four MCO copper atoms, suggesting that the protein has evolved specifically for Mn oxidation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)183-191
Number of pages9
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2017

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry (miscellaneous)
  • Biophysics
  • Biomaterials
  • Biochemistry
  • Metals and Alloys


Dive into the research topics of 'Substrate specificity and copper loading of the manganese-oxidizing multicopper oxidase Mnx from Bacillus sp. PL-12'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this