Proton pumping nicotinamide nucleotide transhydrogenase from Escherichia coli contains an α subunit with the NAD(H)-binding domain I and a β subunit with the NADP(H)-binding domain III. The membrane domain (domain II) harbors the proton channel and is made up of the hydrophobic parts of the α and β subunits. The interface in domain II between the α and the β subunits has previously been investigated by cross-linking loops connecting the four transmembrane helices in the α subunit and loops connecting the nine transmembrane helices in the β subunit. However, to investigate the organization of the nine transmembrane helices in the β subunit, a split was introduced by creating a stop codon in the loop connecting transmembrane helices 9 and 10 by a single mutagenesis step, utilizing an existing downstream start codon. The resulting enzyme was composed of the wild-type α subunit and the two new peptides β1 and β2. As compared to other split membrane proteins, the new transhydrogenase was remarkably active and catalyzed activities for the reduction of 3-acetylpyridine-NAD + by NADPH, the cyclic reduction of 3-acetylpyridine-NAD + by NADH (mediated by bound NADP(H)), and proton pumping, amounting to about 50-107% of the corresponding wild-type activities. These high activities suggest that the α subunit was normally folded, followed by a concerted folding of β1 + β2. Cross-linking of a βS105C-βS237C double cysteine mutant in the functional split cysteine-free background, followed by SDS-PAGE analysis, showed that helices 9, 13, and 14 were in close proximity. This is the first time that cross-linking between helices in the same β subunit has been demonstrated.
- proton pumping nicotinamide nucleotide transhydrogenase
- escherichia coli
- membrane domain
- proton channel