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Arch Biochem Biophys. 1990 Dec;283(2):311-7.

Expression of mammalian DT-diaphorase in Escherichia coli: purification and characterization of the expressed protein.

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Joint Graduate Program in Toxicology, Rutgers University, Piscataway, New Jersey 08855.


A full-length cDNA clone, pKK-DTD4, complementary to rat liver cytosolic DT-diaphorase [NAD(P)H:quinone oxidoreductase (EC] mRNA was expressed in Escherichia coli. The pKK-DTD4 cDNA was obtained by extending the 5'-end sequence of a rat liver DT-diaphorase cDNA clone, pDTD55, to include an ATG initiation codon and the NH2-terminal codons using polymerase chain reaction (PCR). Restriction sites for EcoRI and HindIII were incorporated at the 5'- and 3'-ends of the cDNA, respectively, by the PCR reaction. The resulting full-length cDNA was inserted into an expression vector, pKK2.7, at the EcoRI and HindIII restriction sites. E. coli strain AB1899 was transformed with the constructed expression plasmid, and DT-diaphorase was expressed under the control of the tac promotor. The expressed DT-diaphorase exhibited high activity of menadione reduction and was inhibited by dicumarol at a concentration of 10(-5)M. After purification by Cibacron Blue affinity chromatography, the expressed enzyme migrated as a single band on 12.5% sodium dodecyl sulfate-polyacrylamide gel with a molecular weight equivalent to that of the purified rat liver cytosolic DT-diaphorase. The purified expressed protein was recognized by polyclonal antibodies against rat liver DT-diaphorase on immunoblot analysis. It utilized either NADPH or NADH as electron donor at equal efficiency and displayed high activities in reduction of menadione, 1,4-benzoquinone, and 2,6-dichlorophenolindophenol which are typical substrates for DT-diaphorase. The expressed DT-diaphorase exhibited a typical flavoprotein spectrum with absorption peaks at 380 and 452 nm. Flavin content determination showed that it contained 2 mol of FAD per mole of the enzyme. Edman protein sequencing of the first 20 amino acid residues at the NH2 terminus of the expressed protein indicated that the expressed DT-diaphorase is not blocked at the NH2 terminus and has an alanine as the first amino acid. The remaining 19 amino acid residues at the NH2 terminus were identical with those of the DT-diaphorase purified from rat liver cytosol.

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