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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

1
Center for Molecular Medicine and Genetics, Wayne State University School of Medicine, 3214 Scott Hall, 540 E. Canfield, Detroit, MI 48201, USA.

Abstract

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.

PMID:
18471988
PMCID:
PMC2652845
DOI:
10.1016/j.bbabio.2008.04.023
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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