Pyridine nucleotide transhydrogenases of bacterial cytosolic membranes and mitochondrial inner membranes are proton pumps in which hydride transfer between NADP(+) and NAD(+) is coupled to proton translocation across cytosolic or mitochondrial membranes. The pyridine nucleotide transhydrogenase of Escherichia coli is composed of two subunits (alpha and beta). Three domains are recognized. The extrinsic cytosolic domain 1 of the amino-terminal region of the alpha subunit bears the NAD(H)-binding site. The NADP(H)-binding site is present in domain 3, the extrinsic cytosolic carboxyl-terminal region of the beta subunit. Domain 2 is composed of the membrane-intrinsic carboxyl-terminal region of the alpha subunit and the membrane-intrinsic amino-terminal region of the beta subunit. Treatment of the transhydrogenase of E. coli with 4-chloro-7-nitrobenzo-2-oxa-1,3-diazole (NBD chloride) inhibited enzyme activity. Analysis of inhibition revealed that several sites on the enzyme were involved. NBD chloride modified two (betaCys-147 and betaCys-260) of the seven cysteine residues present in the transhydrogenase. Modification of betaCys-260 in domain 2 resulted in inhibition of enzyme activity. Modification of residues other than cysteine residues also resulted in inhibition of transhydrogenation as shown by use of a cysteine-free mutant enzyme. The beta subunit was modified by NBD chloride to a greater extent than the alpha subunit. Reaction of domain 2 and domain 3 was prevented by NADPH. Modification of domain 3 is probably not associated with inhibition of enzyme activity. Modification of domain 2 of the beta subunit resulted in a decreased binding affinity for NADPH at its binding site in domain 3. The product resulting from the reaction of NBD chloride with NADPH was a very effective inhibitor of transhydrogenation. In experiments with NBD chloride in the presence of NADPH it is likely that all of the sites of reaction described above will contribute to the inhibition observed. The NBD-NADPH adduct will likely be more useful than NBD chloride in investigations of the pyridine nucleotide transhydrogenase.
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