Urease accessory protein UreE (IPR012406)

Short name: UreE

Overlapping homologous superfamilies

Family relationships



Urease and other nickel metalloenzymes are synthesised as precursors devoid of the metalloenzyme active site. These precursors then undergo a complex post-translational maturation process that requires a number of accessory proteins.

Members of this group are nickel-binding proteins required for urease metallocentre assembly [PMID: 8318889]. They are believed to function as metallochaperones to deliver nickel to urease apoprotein [PMID: 12072968, PMID: 10753863]. It has been shown by yeast two-hybrid analysis that UreE forms a dimeric complex with UreG in Helicobacter pylori 26695 [PMID: 12388207]. The UreDFG-apoenzyme complex has also been shown to exist [PMID: 11157956, PMID: 7721685] and is believed to be, with the addition of UreE, the assembly system for active urease [PMID: 7721685]. The complexes, rather than the individual proteins, presumably bind to UreB via UreE/H recognition sites.

The structure of Klebsiella aerogenes UreE reveals a unique two-domain architecture with one domain structurally related to a heat shock protein and the second to the Atx1 copper metallochaperone [PMID: 11591723, PMID: 11602602]. Significantly, the metal-binding sites in UreE and Atx1 are distinct in location and types of residues despite the relationship between these proteins and the mechanism for UreE activation of urease is proposed to be different from the thiol ligand exchange mechanism used by the copper metallochaperones.

Most members of this group contain a histidine-rich C-terminal motif that is involved in, but not solely responsible for, binding nickel ions in K. aerogenes UreE [PMID: 8808929]. However, internal ligands, not the histidine residues at the C terminus, are necessary for UreE to assist in urease activation in K. aerogenes [PMID: 11591723], even though the truncated protein lacking the His-rich region binds two nickel ions instead of six. In H. pylori and some other organisms, the terminal histidine-rich binding sites are absent, but the internal histidine sites are present, and the latter probably function as nickel donors.

GO terms

Biological Process

GO:0018307 enzyme active site formation
GO:0006457 protein folding

Molecular Function

GO:0016151 nickel cation binding

Cellular Component

GO:0005737 cytoplasm

Contributing signatures

Signatures from InterPro member databases are used to construct an entry.