Regulation of expression of methane monooxygenases by copper ions

Trends Microbiol. 2000 May;8(5):221-5. doi: 10.1016/s0966-842x(00)01739-x.


Many methanotrophs contain both a soluble and a particulate methane monooxygenase. A unique metabolic switch, mediated by copper ions, regulates the expression of these enzymes. When the copper-to-biomass ratio of the cell is low, the soluble enzyme is expressed, and when the copper-to-biomass ratio is high, the particulate enzyme is expressed. A model for the mechanism of this switch is proposed.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Base Sequence
  • Copper / metabolism*
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Bacterial*
  • Gram-Negative Bacteria / enzymology*
  • Gram-Negative Bacteria / genetics
  • Methane / metabolism
  • Models, Genetic
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Oxygenases / genetics*
  • Oxygenases / metabolism*


  • Copper
  • Oxygenases
  • methane monooxygenase
  • Methane