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Biochemistry. 1981 Jul 7;20(14):4178-85.

In vitro synthesis of the respiratory NADH dehydrogenase of Escherichia coli. Role of UUG as initiation codon.


The respiratory NADH dehydrogenase of Escherichia coli has been synthesized in vitro in a coupled transcription--translation system with cloned deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) as template. The identity of the protein produced was confirmed by paper chromatography and electrophoresis of tryptic peptides. [35S]Methionine-labeled tryptic peptides from the in vitro product were shown to comigrate with authentic methionine-containing tryptic peptides from the purified enzyme. Using a transcription-translation system derived from an ndh mutant, it was shown that the enzyme produced in vitro was incorporated into membrane vesicles of the mutant to give functional, cyanide-sensitive NADH oxidase activity. Radiochemical N-terminal sequencing of the synthesized NADH dehydrogenase showed that the product was a mixture of three different species, with N-formylmethionine, methionine, or threonine at the N terminus. The results indicated that only partial N-terminal processing was occurring in vitro and that the first residue of the unprocessed NADH dehydrogenase is N-formylmethionine. Since DNA sequencing has shown that this residue is encoded by UUG [Young, I. G., Rogers, B. L., Campbell, H. D., Jaworowski, A., & Shaw, D. C. (1981) Eur. J. Biochem. (in press)], this work verifies the role of UUG as a normal initiation codon.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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