Inhibitors of a Na+-pumping NADH-ubiquinone oxidoreductase play multiple roles to block enzyme functionThe Na+-pumping NADH-ubiquinone (UQ) oxidoreductase (Na+-NQR) is present in the respiratory chain of many pathogenic bacteria and is thought to be a promising antibiotic target. Whereas many details of Na+-NQR structure and function are known, the mechanisms of action of potent inhibitors is not well-understood; elucidating the mechanisms would not only advance drug design strategies but might also provide insights on a terminal electron transfer from riboflavin to UQ. To this end, we performed photoaffinity labeling experiments using photoreactive derivatives of two known inhibitors, aurachin and korormicin, on isolated Vibrio cholerae Na+-NQR.
Oversized ubiquinones as molecular probes for structural dynamics of the ubiquinone reaction site in mitochondrial respiratory complex INADH-quinone oxidoreductase (complex I) couples electron transfer from NADH to quinone with proton translocation across the membrane. Quinone reduction is a key step for energy transmission from the site of quinone reduction to the remotely located proton-pumping machinery of the enzyme. Although structural biology studies have proposed the existence of a long and narrow quinone-access channel, the physiological relevance of this channel remains debatable. We investigated here whether complex I in bovine heart submitochondrial particles (SMPs) can catalytically reduce a series of oversized ubiquinones (OS-UQs), which are highly unlikely to transit the narrow channel because their side chain includes a bulky “block” that is ∼13 Å across.
Identification of the binding sites for ubiquinone and inhibitors in the Na+-pumping NADH-ubiquinone oxidoreductase from Vibrio cholerae by photoaffinity labelingThe Na+-pumping NADH-quinone oxidoreductase (Na+-NQR) is the first enzyme of the respiratory chain and the main ion transporter in many marine and pathogenic bacteria, including Vibrio cholerae. The V. cholerae Na+-NQR has been extensively studied, but its binding sites for ubiquinone and inhibitors remain controversial. Here, using a photoreactive ubiquinone PUQ-3 as well as two aurachin-type inhibitors [125I]PAD-1 and [125I]PAD-2 and photoaffinity labeling experiments on the isolated enzyme, we demonstrate that the ubiquinone ring binds to the NqrA subunit in the regions Leu-32–Met-39 and Phe-131–Lys-138, encompassing the rear wall of a predicted ubiquinone-binding cavity.