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Biochim Biophys Acta. 2002 Sep 10;1555(1-3):187-91.

From NADH to ubiquinone in Neurospora mitochondria.

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Instituto de Biologia Molecular e Celular, Universidade do Porto, Porto, Portugal.


The respiratory chain of the mitochondrial inner membrane includes a proton-pumping enzyme, complex I, which catalyses electron transfer from NADH to ubiquinone. This electron pathway occurs through a series of protein-bound prosthetic groups, FMN and around eight iron-sulfur clusters. The high number of polypeptide subunits of mitochondrial complex I, around 40, have a dual genetic origin. Neurospora crassa has been a useful genetic model to characterise complex I. The characterisation of mutants in specific proteins helped to understand the elaborate processes of the biogenesis, structure and function of the oligomeric enzyme. In the fungus, complex I seems to be dispensable for vegetative growth but required for sexual development. N. crassa mitochondria also contain three to four nonproton-pumping alternative NAD(P)H dehydrogenases. One of them is located in the outer face of the inner mitochondrial membrane, working as a calcium-dependent oxidase of cytosolic NADPH.

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