The proton-translocating reduced nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide- (NADH-) quinone oxidoreductase (NDH-1) of Paracoccus denitrificans is composed of at least 14 different subunits (NQO1-14). In addition, this enzyme complex houses one flavin mononucleotide (FMN) and 7-8 iron-sulfur clusters as cofactors. The expression and partial characterization of the NQO7 subunit, one of the seven subunits that constitute the hydrophobic sector of the enzyme complex, have been performed and are reported here. Expression of the NQO7 subunit was achieved by use of the glutathione-S-transferase (GST) fusion system together with Escherichia coli strains BLR(DE3)pLysS and BL21(DE3)pLysS. The GST-fused NQO7 subunit was expressed in the membrane fraction of the host cells and was extracted from the membranes by nonionic detergents (Triton X-100, dodecyl maltoside). The extracted polypeptide was purified by glutathione affinity column chromatography and characterized. The isolated GST-fused NQO7 subunit (but not the GST alone) was determined to interact with phospholipid vesicles and suppress the membrane fluidity. Antibodies against both the N- and C-terminal regions of the deduced primary structure of the NQO7 subunit reacted with a single band (15 kDa) of the Paracoccus membranes. By use of immunochemical and cysteine residue modification techniques, the topology of the Paracoccus NQO7 subunit in the membranes has been examined. The data suggest that the Paracoccus NQO7 subunit contains three transmembrane segments and that its N- and C-terminal regions are directed toward the cytoplasmic and periplasmic phases of the membrane, respectively. The proposed topology of the GST-fused NQO7 subunit expressed in E. coli membranes is consistent with that of the NQO7 subunit in the Paracoccus membranes.