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J Biol Chem. 2011 Jul 22;286(29):26081-92. doi: 10.1074/jbc.M110.209601. Epub 2011 May 23.

Insights into the composition and assembly of the membrane arm of plant complex I through analysis of subcomplexes in Arabidopsis mutant lines.

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Institut de Biologie Moléculaire des Plantes, CNRS UPR2357, Université de Strasbourg, Strasbourg, France.


NADH-ubiquinone oxidoreductase (Complex I, EC is the largest complex of the mitochondrial respiratory chain. In eukaryotes, it is composed of more than 40 subunits that are encoded by both the nuclear and mitochondrial genomes. Plant Complex I differs from the enzyme described in other eukaryotes, most notably due to the large number of plant-specific subunits in the membrane arm of the complex. The elucidation of the assembly pathway of Complex I has been a long-standing research aim in cellular biochemistry. We report the study of Arabidopsis mutants in Complex I subunits using a combination of Blue-Native PAGE and immunodetection to identify stable subcomplexes containing Complex I components, along with mass spectrometry analysis of Complex I components in membrane fractions and two-dimensional diagonal Tricine SDS-PAGE to study the composition of the largest subcomplex. Four subcomplexes of the membrane arm of Complex I with apparent molecular masses of 200, 400, 450, and 650 kDa were observed. We propose a working model for the assembly of the membrane arm of Complex I in plants and assign putative roles during the assembly process for two of the subunits studied.

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