Glutamine phosphoribosylpyrophosphate amidotransferase from Bacillus subtilis is synthesized as an inactive precursor that requires two maturation steps: incorporation of a [4Fe-4S] center and cleavage of an 11-residue NH2-terminal propeptide. Overproduction from a multicopy plasmid in Escherichia coli leads to the formation of soluble proenzyme and mature enzyme forms as well as a small fraction of insoluble proenzyme. Heterologous expression of Azotobacter vinelandii nifS from a compatible plasmid increased the maturation of the soluble proenzyme three- to fourfold without influencing the content of the insoluble fraction. These results support a role for NifS in heterologous Fe-S cluster assembly and enzyme maturation
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