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FEMS Microbiol Lett. 1999 May 1;174(1):167-71.

The periplasmic nitrate reductase from Escherichia coli: a heterodimeric molybdoprotein with a double-arginine signal sequence and an unusual leader peptide cleavage site.

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School of Biochemistry, University of Birmingham, UK.


The periplasmic nitrate reductase, NapA, from Escherichia coli was identified as a 90 kDa molybdoprotein which comigrated during polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis with the di-haem c-type cytochrome, NapB. The DNA sequence of the 5' end of the napA gene and the N-terminal amino acid sequences of both NapA and NapB were determined. The 36 residue leader peptide for NapA includes the double-arginine motif typical of proteins to which complex redox cofactors are attached in the cytoplasm prior to targeting to the periplasm. The pre-NapA leader sequence is both unexpectedly long and, unless two successive proteolysis steps are involved, is cleaved at the unprecedented sequence G-Q-Q-. Nap activity was suppressed during growth in the presence of tungstate and was absent from a mutant unable to synthesise the molybdopterin cofactor.

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