The proton-translocating NADH-quinone oxidoreductase (NDH-1) of Paracoccus denitrificans is composed of at least 14 subunits (NQO1-14) and is located in the cytoplasmic membrane. In the present study, topological properties and stoichiometry of the 7 subunits (NQO1-6 and NQO9) of the P. denitrificans NDH-1 in the membranes were investigated using immunological techniques. Treatments with chaotropic reagents (urea, NaI, or NaBr) or with alkaline buffer (pH 10-12) resulted in partial or complete extraction of all the subunits from the membranes. Of interest is that when NaBr or urea were used, the NQO6 and NQO9 subunits remained in the membranes, whereas the other subunits were completely extracted, suggesting their direct association with the membrane part of the enzyme complex. Both deletion study and homologous expression study of the NQO9 subunit provided a clue that its hydrophobic N-terminal stretch plays an important role in such an association. In light of this observation and others, topological properties of the subunits in the NDH-1 enzyme complex are discussed. In addition, determination of stoichiometry of the peripheral subunits of the P. denitrificans NDH-1 was completed by radioimmunological methods. All the peripheral subunits are present as one molecule each in the enzyme complex. These results estimated the total number of cofactors in the P. denitrificans NDH-1; the enzyme complex contains one molecule of FMN and up to eight iron-sulfur clusters, 2x[2Fe-2S] and 6x[4Fe-4S], provided that the NQO6 subunit bears one [4Fe-4S] cluster.