The role of the supernumerary subunit of Rhodobacter sphaeroides cytochrome bc1 complex.
The smallest molecular weight subunit (subunit IV), which contains no redox prosthetic group, is the only supernumerary subunit in the four-subunit Rhodobacter sphaeroides bc1 complex. This subunit is involved in Q binding and the structural integrity of the complex. When the cytochrome bc1 complex is photoaffinity labeled with [3H]azido-Q derivative, radioactivity is found in subunits IV and I (cytochrome b), indicating that these two subunits are responsible for Q binding in the complex. When the subunit IV gene (fbcQ) is deleted from the R. sphaeroides chromosome, the resulting strain (RSdeltaIV) requires a period of adaptation before the start of photosynthetic growth. The cytochrome bc1 complex in adapted RSdeltaIV chromatophores is labile to detergent treatment (60-75% inactivation), and shows a four-fold increase in the Km for Q2H2. The first two changes indicate a structural role of subunit IV; the third change supports its Q-binding function. Tryptophan-79 is important for structural and Q-binding functions of subunit IV. Subunit IV is overexpressed in Escherichia coli as a GST fusion protein using the constructed expression vector, pGEX/IV. Purified recombinant subunit IV is functionally active as it can restore the bc1 complex activity from the three-subunit core complex to the same level as that of wild-type or complement complex. Three regions in the subunit IV sequence, residues 86-109, 77-85, and 41-55, are essential for interaction with the core complex because deleting one of these regions yields a subunit completely or partially unable to restore cytochrome bc1 from the core complex.
Yu, L; Tso, SC; Shenoy, SK; Quinn, BN; Xia, D
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