An expression vector, pKGR, for the gor gene from Escherichia coli encoding glutathione reductase was constructed by subcloning of an AvaII fragment of the Clarke & Carbon bank plasmid pGR [Greer & Perham (1986) Biochemistry 25, 2736-2742] into the plasmid pKK223-3. The expression of glutathione reductase from the plasmid pKGR was found to have been successfully placed under the control of the tac promoter. Transformation of E. coli cells with this plasmid resulted in 100-200-fold increase in glutathione reductase activity in cell-free extracts. A rapid purification procedure for the enzyme, based on affinity chromatography on Procion Red HE-7B-CL-Sepharose 4B, was developed. The purified enzyme was homogeneous as judged by SDS/polyacrylamide-gel electrophoresis, and all its properties were consistent with the DNA sequence of the gene [Greer & Perham (1986) Biochemistry 25, 2736-2742] and with those previously reported for E. coli glutathione reductase [Mata, Pinto & Lopez-Barea (1984) Z. Naturforsch. C. Biosci. 39, 908-915]. These experiments have enabled an investigation of the protein chemical and mechanistic properties of the enzyme by site-directed mutagenesis.

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