Bovine cytochrome c oxidase subunits were separated by reverse phase high performance liquid chromatography using a C4 column eluted with water and an acetonitrile gradient, both containing 0.1% trifluoroacetic acid. Subunits I and III precipitated in this solvent and could not be analyzed; the remaining eleven subunits were dissociated, denatured, soluble and could be resolved by elution from the column. The protein subunit eluting in each chromatographic peak was identified by a combination of polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis in sodium dodecyl sulfate, NH2-terminal amino acid sequencing, and amino acid analysis. Each subunit produced a single elution peak with the exception of subunit VIc (nomenclature of Kadenbach et al., 1983, Anal. Biochem. 129, 517-521), which eluted from the column as two well-resolved peaks. Sequence analysis showed that the two subunit VIc elution peaks resulted from partial chemical blockage of the α-amino serine residue of subunit VIc. The C4 reverse phase HPLC was used to document specific subunit removal from bovine cytochrome c oxidase either by tryptic digestion or by dodecyl maltoside extraction. The described HPLC method for separating cytochrome c oxidase subunits should be applicable for the analysis of other multisubunit proteins, especially other multisubunit membrane protein complexes.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Molecular Biology