CooA, a paradigm for gas sensing regulatory proteins

J Inorg Biochem. 2005 Jan;99(1):280-92. doi: 10.1016/j.jinorgbio.2004.10.032.


The heme-containing transcriptional factor CooA regulates the expression of genes involved in the oxidation of carbon monoxide (CO) in the bacterium Rhodospirillum rubrum. CooA is both a redox sensor and a specific CO sensor, a combination of properties that is unique among heme proteins. Extensive biochemical and genetic analyses, interpreted in the context of a crystal structure of one form of the protein, have allowed the creation of hypotheses concerning the mechanism of CooA activation by CO as well as the basis for its CO specificity. The article details the data in support of these hypotheses and indicates future lines of research.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Bacterial Proteins / chemistry*
  • Bacterial Proteins / metabolism*
  • Carbon Monoxide / metabolism*
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Bacterial*
  • Heme / chemistry
  • Hemeproteins / chemistry*
  • Hemeproteins / metabolism*
  • Models, Molecular
  • Oxidation-Reduction
  • Protein Binding
  • Protein Structure, Tertiary
  • Signal Transduction / physiology
  • Trans-Activators / chemistry*
  • Trans-Activators / metabolism*


  • Bacterial Proteins
  • CooA protein, Rhodospirillum rubrum
  • Hemeproteins
  • Trans-Activators
  • Heme
  • Carbon Monoxide