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Summary

Periplasmic Cu,Zn-superoxide dismutases (Cu,Zn-SODs) are implicated in bacterial virulence. It has been proposed that some bacterial P1B-type ATPases supply copper to periplasmic cupro-proteins and such transporters have also been implicated in virulence. Here we show that either of two P1B-type ATPases, CopA or GolT, is needed to activate a periplasmic Cu,Zn-SOD (SodCII) in Salmonella enterica serovar Typhimurium. A ΔcopAgolT mutant accumulates inactive Zn-SodCII which can be activated by copper-supplementation in vitro. In contrast, either single ATPase mutant accumulates fully active Cu,Zn-SodCII. A contribution of GolT to copper handling is consistent with its copper-responsive transcription mediated by DNA-binding metal-responsive activator GolS. The requirement for duplicate transcriptional activators CueR and GolS remains unclear since both have similar tight KCu. Mutants lacking periplasmic cupro-protein CueP also accumulate inactive Zn-SodCII and while CopA and GolT show functional redundancy, both require CueP to activate SodCII in vivo. Zn-SodCII is also activated in vitro by incubation with Cu-CueP and this coincides with copper transfer as monitored by electron paramagnetic resonance spectroscopy. These experiments establish a role for CueP within the copper supply pathway for Salmonella Cu,Zn-SodCII. Copper binding by CueP in this pathogen may confer protection of the periplasm from copper-mediated damage while sustaining vital cupro-enzyme activity.