The isolation and characterization of a new metalloprotein containing Cu and Fe atoms is reported. The as-isolated Cu-Fe protein shows an UV-visible spectrum with absorption bands at 320 nm, 409 nm and 615 nm. Molecular mass of the native protein along with denaturating electrophoresis and mass spectrometry data show that this protein is a multimer consisting of 14 +/- 1 subunits of 15254.3 +/- 7.6 Da. Mossbauer spectroscopy data of the as-isolated Cu-Fe protein is consistent with the presence of [2Fe-2S](2+) centers. Data interpretation of the dithionite reduced protein suggest that the metallic cluster could be constituted by two ferromagnetically coupled [2Fe-2S](+) spin delocalized pairs. The biochemical properties of the Cu-Fe protein are similar to the recently reported molybdenum resistance associated protein from Desulfovibrio, D. alaskensis. Further-more, a BLAST search from the DNA deduced amino acid sequence shows that the Cu-Fe protein has homology with proteins annotated as zinc resistance associated proteins from Desulfovibrio, D. alaskensis, D. vulgaris Hildenborough, D. piger ATCC 29098. These facts suggest a possible role of the Cu-Fe protein in metal tolerance. (C) 2009 Published by Elsevier Inc.