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Mol Cell Biol. 1989 Mar;9(3):1362-4.

Immunological identification of the alternative oxidase of Neurospora crassa mitochondria.

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  • 1Department of Molecular Genetics, Ohio State University, Columbus 43210.


Neurospora crassa mitochondria use a branched electron transport system in which one branch is a conventional cytochrome system and the other is an alternative cyanide-resistant, hydroxamic acid-sensitive oxidase that is induced when the cytochrome system is impaired. We used a monoclonal antibody to the alternative oxidase of the higher plant Sauromatum guttatum to identify a similar set of related polypeptides (Mr, 36,500 and 37,000) that was associated with the alternative oxidase activity of N. crassa mitochondria. These polypeptides were not present constitutively in the mitochondria of a wild-type N. crassa strain, but were produced in high amounts under conditions that induced alternative oxidase activity. Under the same conditions, mutants in the aod-1 gene, with one exception, produced apparently inactive alternative oxidase polypeptides, whereas mutants in the aod-2 gene failed to produce these polypeptides. The latter findings support the hypothesis that aod-1 is a structural gene for the alternative oxidase and that the aod-2 gene encodes a component that is required for induction of alternative oxidase activity. Finally, our results indicate that the alternative oxidase is highly conserved, even between plant and fungal species.

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