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J Biol Chem. 1975 Jan 25;250(2):752-61.

Cytochrome c oxidase from bakers' yeast. III. Physical characterization of isolated subunits and chemical evidence for two different classes of polypeptides.


Earlier studies have shown that cytochrome c oxidase from bakers' yeast is an oligomeric enzyme which contains three polypeptides (I to III) synthesized on mitochondrial ribosomes and four polypeptides (IV to VII) synthesized on cytoplasmic ribosomes. These polypeptide subunits have now been isolated by a simple protocol which utilizes differences in polypeptide charge, solubility, and size. Their molecular weights determined by polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis in the presence of sodium dodecyl sulfate, gel filtration in the presence of guanidine hydrochloride, and amino acid analysis were: I, 40,000; II, 33,000; III, 22,000; IV, 14,500; V, 12,700; VI, 12,700; and VII, 4,600. All seven polypeptide subunits exhibited acidic isoelectric points; cytoplasmically made subunits were more acidic than mitochondrially made ones. The amino acid composition of two mitochondrially made subunits and two cytoplasmically made subunits was determined. The two mitochondrial translation products, I and II, contained only 34.7% and 42.1% polar amino acids, respectively, whereas the two cytoplasmic translation products, IV and VI, contained 48.3% and 49.3%, respectively. This agreed with the observation that Subunits I and II are very insoluble, requiring detergents for solubility, whereas Subunits IV and VI are water-soluble in the absence of any added detergent. These results indicate that the cytochrome c oxidase subunits synthesized on mitochondrial and cytoplasmic ribosomes are fundamentally different in size, isoelectric properties, and hydrophobicity. They also suggest the possibility that at least some of the mitochondrially made subunits are buried in the lipid phase of the mitochondrial inner membrane.

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