Send to

Choose Destination
Biochim Biophys Acta. 2008 Jul-Aug;1777(7-8):1066-71. doi: 10.1016/j.bbabio.2008.04.023. Epub 2008 Apr 22.

Mammalian liver cytochrome c is tyrosine-48 phosphorylated in vivo, inhibiting mitochondrial respiration.

Author information

Center for Molecular Medicine and Genetics, Wayne State University School of Medicine, 3214 Scott Hall, 540 E. Canfield, Detroit, MI 48201, USA.


Cytochrome c (Cyt c) is part of the mitochondrial electron transport chain (ETC), accepting electrons from bc(1) complex and transferring them to cytochrome c oxidase (CcO). The ETC generates the mitochondrial membrane potential, which is used by ATP synthase to produce ATP. In addition, the release of Cyt c from the mitochondria often commits a cell to undergo apoptosis. Considering its central role in life (respiration) and death (apoptosis) decisions one would expect tight regulation of Cyt c function. Reversible phosphorylation is a main cellular regulatory mechanism, but the effect of cell signaling targeting the mitochondrial oxidative phosphorylation system is not well understood, and only a small number of proteins that can be phosphorylated have been identified to date. We have recently shown that Cyt c isolated from cow heart tissue is phosphorylated on tyrosine 97 in vivo, which leads to inhibition of respiration in the reaction with CcO. In this study we isolated Cyt c from a different organ, cow liver, under conditions preserving the physiological phosphorylation state. Western analysis with a phosphotyrosine specific antibody suggested that liver Cyt c is phosphorylated. Surprisingly, the phosphorylation site was unambiguously assigned to Tyr-48 by immobilized metal affinity chromatography/nano-liquid chromatography/electrospray ionization mass spectrometry (IMAC/nano-LC/ESI-MS), and not to the previously identified phospho-Tyr-97 in cow heart. As is true of Tyr-97, Tyr-48 is conserved in eukaryotes. As one possible consequence of Tyr-48 phosphorylation we analyzed the in vitro reaction kinetics with isolated cow liver CcO revealing striking differences. Maximal turnover of Tyr-48 phosphorylated Cyt c was 3.7 s(-1) whereas dephosphorylation resulted in a 2.2 fold increase in activity to 8.2 s(-1). Effects of Tyr-48 phosphorylation based on the Cyt c crystal structure are discussed.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Elsevier Science Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center