The QPs1 subunit of bovine heart mitochondrial succinate-ubiquinone reductase was overexpressed in Escherichia coli DH5α cells as a glutathione S-transferase fusion protein (GST-QPs1) rising the expression vector, pGEX/QPs1. The yield of soluble active recombinant GST-QPs1 fusion protein depends on the IPTG concentration, induction growth time, temperature, and medium. Maximum yield of recombinant fusion protein was obtained from cells harvested 3 h postinduction of growth with 0.5 mM IPTG at 27°C in an enriched medium containing betaine and sorbitol. QPs1 is released from the fusion protein by proteolytic cleavage with thrombin. Isolated recombinant QPs1 shows one protein band in SDS-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis corresponding to subunit III of mitochondrial succinate-ubiquinone reductase. However, partial N-terminal amino acid sequence analysis of recombinant QPs1 shows two extra amino acid residues, glycine and serine, at the N-terminus of mature QPs1, resulting from the recombinant manipulation. When isolated recombinant QPs1 is dispersed in 0.01% dodecyl maltoside, it is in a highly aggregated form with an apparent molecular mass of over 1 million. Recombinant GST-QPs1 contains little cytochrome b-560 heme. However, addition of hemin chloride restores the spectral characteristics of cytochrome b-560. Cytochrome b-560 restoration varies with the amount of heroin used. Maximum reconstitution is obtained when the molar ratio of heme to fusion protein used in the system is 0.6. Reconstituted cytochrome b-560 shows a EPR signal at g = 2.91 which corresponds to one of the EPR signals of cytochrome b-560 in a QPs preparation. When GST-QPs1 with reconstituted cytochrome b-560 is treated with thrombin to cleave GST from QPs1, no change in the absorption and EPR characteristics of cytochrome b-560 is observed, indicating that the bis-histidine ligands of reconstituted cytochrome b-560 are provided by QPs1.
- Cytochrome b-560
- QPs1 expression
- Succinate-ubiquinone reductase