The cytochrome bo3 ubiquinol oxidase contains at least one and possibly two binding sites for ubiquinol/ubiquinone. Previous studies used the photoreactive affinity label 3-[3H]azido-2-methyl-5-methoxy-6-geranyl-1,4- benzoquinone (azido-Q), a substrate analogue, to demonstrate that subunit II contributes to at least one of the quinol binding sites. In the current work, mass spectroscopy is used to identify a peptide within subunit II that is photolabeled by the azido-Q. Purified cytochrome bo3 was photolabeled as previously described using azido-Q that was not tritiated (i.e., not radiolabeled). Subunit II was then isolated from an SDS-PAGE gel and proteolyzed in situ with trypsin. The resulting peptides were eluted from the gel and then identified using matrix-assisted laser desorption ionization mass spectrometry. The resulting mass spectrum was compared to that obtained by analysis of subunit II that had not been exposed to the photolabel. Using the amino acid sequence, each peak in the mass spectrum of the unlabeled subunit II could be assigned to an expected trypsin fragment. Two additional peaks were observed in the mass spectrum of the photolabeled subunit with m/z 1931.9 and 2287.7. Subtraction of the mass of azido-Q from the peak at m/z 1931.9 results in a mass equivalent to that of a peptide consisting of amino acids 165-178. The assignment of the peak at m/z 2287.7 cannot be made unequivocally and may correspond either to the covalent attachment of azido- Q to peptide 254-270 or to a peptide resulting from incomplete proteolysis. The labeled peptide, 165-178, is within the water-soluble domain of subunit II, whose X-ray structure is known. This peptide is located near the site where CUA is located in the homologous cytochrome c oxidases and can be placed near the interface between subunits I and II.
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