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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Structure of fumarate reductase on the cytoplasmic membrane of Escherichia coli.

The terminal electron transfer enzyme fumarate reductase has been shown to be composed of a membrane-extrinsic catalytic dimer of 69- and 27-kilodalton (kd) subunits and a membrane-intrinsic anchor portion of 15- and 13-kd subunits. We prepared inverted membrane vesicles from a strain carrying the frd operon on a multicopy plasmid. When grown anaerobically on fumarate-containing medium, the membranes of this strain are highly enriched in fumarate reductase. When negatively stained preparations of these vesicles were examined with an electron microscope, they appeared to be covered with knob-like structures about 4 nm in diameter attached to the membrane by short stalks. Treatment of the membranes with chymotrypsin destroyed the 69-kd subunit, leaving the 27-, 15-, and 13-kd subunits bound to the membrane; these membranes appeared to retain remnants of the structure. Treatment of the membranes with 6 M urea removed the 69- and 27-kd subunits, leaving the anchor polypeptides intact. These vesicles appeared smooth and structureless. A functional four-subunit enzyme and the knob-like structure could be reconstituted by the addition of soluble catalytic subunits to the urea-stripped membranes. In addition to the vesicular structures, we observed unusual tubular structures which were covered with a helical array of fumarate reductase knobs.[1]


  1. Structure of fumarate reductase on the cytoplasmic membrane of Escherichia coli. Lemire, B.D., Robinson, J.J., Bradley, R.D., Scraba, D.G., Weiner, J.H. J. Bacteriol. (1983) [Pubmed]
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