Molecular cloning and sequence analysis of human placental ferredoxin.
We have characterized several clones specific for the human iron-sulfur protein, ferredoxin, which is involved in electron transfer to mitochondrial cytochromes P-450. Clones were isolated from a human placental cDNA expression library in lambda gt11 by immunoscreening with antibody to bovine adrenal ferredoxin. One clone contained the entire amino acid coding sequence (552 bp) together with 27 bp at the 5'-terminus and approximately 0.9 kb at the 3'-terminus; this form appears to correspond to the major mRNA species of approximately 1.7 kb observed on Northern blots of placental mRNA. The deduced amino acid sequence suggests that human ferredoxin is synthesized as a precursor of 184 amino acids (Mr 19,371) which is cleaved to yield a polypeptide of 124 amino acids (Mr 13,546). The mature protein is highly acidic, and the sequence is very similar to those of bovine and porcine adrenodoxins with the exception of substitutions and variations in length at the C-terminus. The N-terminal precursor segment, on the other hand, is considerably diverged from that determined for bovine adrenodoxin, but is similar in overall basicity and the pattern of occurrence of arginine residues.