Transmembrane orientation and topology of the NADH:quinone oxidoreductase putative quinone binding subunit NuoH

Biochim Biophys Acta. 2001 Apr 2;1504(2-3):352-62. doi: 10.1016/s0005-2728(00)00265-6.


NADH:quinone oxidoreductase, or Complex I, is a multi-subunit membrane-bound enzyme in the respiratory chain of many pro- and eukaryotes. The enzyme catalyzes the oxidation of NADH and donates electrons to the quinone pool, coupled to proton translocation across the membrane, but the mechanism of energy transduction is not understood. In bacteria the enzyme consists of 14 subunits, seven membrane spanning and seven protruding from the membrane. The hydrophobic NuoH (NQO8, ND1, NAD1, NdhA) subunit is seemingly involved in quinone binding. A homologous, structurally and most likely functionally similar subunit is also found in F(420)H2 oxidoreductases and in complex membrane-bound hydrogenases. We have made theoretical analyses of NuoH and NuoH-like polypeptides and experimentally analyzed the transmembrane topology of the NuoH subunit from Rhodobacter capsulatus by constructing and analyzing alkaline phosphatase fusion proteins. This demonstrated that the NuoH polypeptide has eight transmembrane segments, and four highly conserved hydrophilic sequence motifs facing the inside, bacterial cytoplasm. The N-terminal and C-terminal ends are located on the outside of the membrane. A topology model of NuoH based on these results is presented, and implications from the model are discussed.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Alkaline Phosphatase / chemistry
  • Alkaline Phosphatase / genetics
  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Binding Sites
  • Biological Evolution
  • Cell Membrane / chemistry
  • Cell Membrane / enzymology
  • Cloning, Molecular
  • Escherichia coli / genetics
  • Gene Expression
  • Models, Chemical
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Oxidoreductases
  • Peptides / chemistry
  • Quinone Reductases / chemistry*
  • Quinone Reductases / genetics
  • Quinones / chemistry
  • Recombinant Fusion Proteins / genetics
  • Rhodobacter capsulatus / enzymology*
  • Rhodobacter capsulatus / genetics
  • Rhodobacter capsulatus / ultrastructure
  • Sequence Alignment


  • Peptides
  • Quinones
  • Recombinant Fusion Proteins
  • F420H2 dehydrogenase
  • Oxidoreductases
  • NADH dehydrogenase (quinone)
  • Quinone Reductases
  • Alkaline Phosphatase