We report on a system to improve expression of mature c-type cytochromes in Escherichia coli. It is based on the use of plasmid pEC86 that expresses the E. coli cytochrome c maturation genes ccmABCDEFGH constitutively, whereby the production of both endogenous and foreign c-type cytochromes was increased substantially. The periplasmic soluble domains of the c-type cytochrome subunits FixO and FixP of the Bradyrhizobium japonicum cbb3 oxidase could be expressed in E. coli only when pEC86 was provided in a degP-deficient strain. This shows that a stimulation of heme attachment by the Ccm maturase system combined with the diminished proteolytic activity in the periplasm can increase c-type cytochrome yields.
Copyright 1998 Academic Press.