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FEBS Lett. 2013 Apr 2;587(7):867-72. doi: 10.1016/j.febslet.2013.02.039. Epub 2013 Feb 27.

Conformation-specific crosslinking of mitochondrial complex I.

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Queen's University Belfast, School of Biological Sciences, Medical Biology Centre, Belfast, UK.


Complex I is the only component of the eukaryotic respiratory chain of which no high-resolution structure is yet available. A notable feature of mitochondrial complex I is the so-called active/de-active conformational transition of the idle enzyme from the active (A) to the de-active, (D) form. Using an amine- and sulfhydryl-reactive crosslinker of 6.8Å length (SPDP) we found that in the D-form of complex I the ND3 subunit crosslinked to the 39 kDa (NDUFA9) subunit. These proteins could not be crosslinked in the A-form. Most likely, both subunits are closely located in the critical junction region connecting the peripheral hydrophilic domain to the membrane arm of the enzyme where the entrance path for substrate ubiquinone is and where energy transduction takes place.

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