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Biochim Biophys Acta. 2002 Sep 10;1555(1-3):147-53.

The NDUFS4 nuclear gene of complex I of mitochondria and the cAMP cascade.

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Department of Medical Biochemistry and Biology, University of Bari, Piazza Giulio Cesare n. 11, 70124 Bari, Italy.


Results of studies on the role of the 18 kDa (IP) polypeptide subunit of complex I, encoded by the nuclear NDUFS4 gene, in isolated bovine heart mitochondria and human and murine cell cultures are presented.The mammalian 18 kDa subunit has in the carboxy-terminal sequence a conserved consensus site (RVS), which in isolated mitochondria is phosphorylated by cAMP-dependent protein kinase (PKA). The catalytic and regulatory subunits of PKA have been directly immunodetected in the inner membrane/matrix fraction of mammalian mitochondria. In the mitochondrial inner membrane a PP2Cgamma-type phosphatase has also been immunodetected, which dephosphorylates the 18 kDa subunit, phosphorylated by PKA. This phosphatase is Mg(2+)-dependent and inhibited by Ca(2+). In human and murine fibroblast and myoblast cultures "in vivo", elevation of intracellular cAMP level promotes phosphorylation of the 18 kDa subunit and stimulates the activity of complex I and NAD-linked mitochondrial respiration. Four families have been found with different mutations in the cDNA of the NDUFS4 gene. These mutations, transmitted by autosomal recessive inheritance, were associated in homozygous children with fatal neurological syndrome. All these mutations destroyed the phosphorylation consensus site in the C terminus of the 18 kDa subunit, abolished cAMP activation of complex I and impaired its normal assembly.

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