The right to choose: Multiple pathways for activating copper, zinc superoxide dismutase

Jeffry M. Leitch, Priscilla J. Yick, Valeria C. Culotta

Research output: Contribution to journalShort surveypeer-review


Since the discovery of SOD1 in 1969, there have been numerous achievements made in our understanding of the enzyme's biochemical reactivity and its role in oxidative stress protection and as a genetic determinant in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. Many recent advances have also been made in understanding the "activation" of SOD1, i.e. the process by which an inert polypeptide is converted to a mature active enzyme through post-translational modifications. To date, two such activation pathways have been identified: one requiring the CCS copper chaperone and one that works independently of CCS to insert copper and activate SOD1 through oxidation of an intramolecular disulfide. Depending on an organism's lifestyle and complexity, different eukaryotes have evolved to favor one pathway over the other. Some organisms rely solely on CCS for activating SOD1, and others can only activate SOD1 independently of CCS, whereas the majority of eukaryotes appear to have evolved to use both pathways. In this minireview, we shall highlight recent advances made in understanding the mechanisms by which the CCS-dependent and CCS-independent pathways control the activity, structure, and intracellular localization of copper,zinc superoxide dismutase, with relevance to amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and an emphasis on evolutionary biology.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)24679-24683
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Issue number37
StatePublished - Sep 11 2009

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


Dive into the research topics of 'The right to choose: Multiple pathways for activating copper, zinc superoxide dismutase'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this