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Eur J Biochem. 1989 Mar 1;180(1):173-80.

A small isoform of NADH:ubiquinone oxidoreductase (complex I) without mitochondrially encoded subunits is made in chloramphenicol-treated Neurospora crassa.

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Institut für Biochemie, Universität Düsseldorf, Federal Republic of Germany.


In mitochondria of Neurospora crassa grown in the presence of chloramphenicol a small form of NADH:ubiquinone reductase is made in place of the normal electron-transfer-complex I. This smaller enzyme has a molecular mass of approximately 350 kDa and consists of (at least) 13 different subunits which are all synthesized in the cytoplasm. The complex I which is normally found in Neurospora has a molecular mass of approximately 700 kDa and consists of around 30 different subunits, of which at least six are made in the mitochondria. Immunoblotting and peptide mapping suggest that the subunits of the small enzyme are homologous to subunits of the large enzyme, one subunit might even be identical. The small and the large NADH:ubiquinone reductases have the same high-affinity binding site for NADH but the two enzymes differ in the affinity and inhibitor sensitivity of the ubiquinone-binding site. The possibility is discussed that the small NADH:ubiquinone reductase is primitive isoform of complex I.

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