Khadine A. Higgins

Learn More
Copper resistance has emerged as an important virulence determinant of microbial pathogens. In Streptococcus pneumoniae, copper resistance is mediated by the copper-responsive repressor CopY, CupA and the copper-effluxing P(1B)-type ATPase CopA. We show here that CupA is a previously uncharacterized cell membrane-anchored Cu(I) chaperone and that a Cu(I)(More)
Transition metals, including manganese, are required for the proper virulence and persistence of many pathogenic bacteria. In Streptococcus pneumoniae (Spn), manganese homeostasis is controlled by a high-affinity Mn(II) uptake complex, PsaBCA, and a constitutively expressed efflux transporter, MntE. psaBCA expression is transcriptionally regulated by the(More)
Superoxide dismutases rely on protein structural elements to adjust the redox potential of the metallocenter to an optimum value near 300 mV (vs NHE), to provide a source of protons for catalysis, and to control the access of anions to the active site. These aspects of the catalytic mechanism are examined herein for recombinant preparations of the(More)
Nickel is an essential metal for a number of bacterial species that have developed systems for acquiring, delivering, and incorporating the metal into target enzymes and controlling the levels of nickel in cells to prevent toxic effects. As with other transition metals, these trafficking systems must be able to distinguish between the desired metal and(More)
The RcnR metalloregulator represses the transcription of the Co(II) and Ni(II) exporter, RcnAB. Previous studies have shown that Co(II) and Ni(II) bind to RcnR in six-coordinate sites, resulting in derepression. Here, the roles of His60, His64, and His67 in specific metal recognition are examined. His60 and His64 correspond to ligands that are important for(More)
CsoR/RcnR transcriptional repressors adopt a disc-shaped, all α-helical dimer of dimers tetrameric architecture, with a four-helix bundle the key structural feature of the dimer. Individual members of this large family of repressors coordinate Cu(I) or Ni(II)/Co(II) or perform cysteine sulfur chemistry in mitigating the effects of metal or metabolite(More)
RcnR (resistance to cobalt and nickel regulator) is a 40-kDa homotetrameric protein and metalloregulator that controls the transcription of the Co(II) and Ni(II) exporter, RcnAB, by binding to DNA as an apoprotein and releasing DNA in response to specifically binding Co(II) and Ni(II) ions. Using X-ray absorption spectroscopy (XAS) to examine the structure(More)
Most organisms are exposed to the genotoxic chemical formaldehyde, either from endogenous or environmental sources. Therefore, biology has evolved systems to perceive and detoxify formaldehyde. The frmRA(B) operon that is present in many bacteria represents one such system. The FrmR protein is a transcriptional repressor that is specifically inactivated in(More)
Hydrogen sulfide (H2S) is both a lethal gas and an emerging gasotransmitter in humans, suggesting that the cellular H2S level must be tightly regulated. CstB is encoded by the cst operon of the major human pathogen Staphylococcus aureus and is under the transcriptional control of the persulfide sensor CstR and H2S. Here, we show that CstB is a(More)