Copper (Cu) is an essential element for the physiological function of organisms. In basidiomycetes, Cu is necessary for the production of phenol oxidase enzymes such as laccase and tyrosinase. We isolated and characterized two genes, CcCTR1 and -2, from the model basidiomycete Coprinopsis cinerea. CcCTR1 and -2 showed similarity to the Cu transporter CTR1 in Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Both CcCTRs had a MLxxM motif that is conserved in other CTR homologs. The addition of Cu to a liquid culture of C. cinerea decreased the mRNA accumulation of CcCTR1 and -2. Heterologous expression of CcCTR1 in S. cerevisiae increased Cu sensitivity, suggesting that CcCTR1 is a Cu uptake transporter. Together, these results suggest that CcCTR1 plays an important role in Cu accumulation in C. cinerea.
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