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FEBS Lett. 1998 Jul 3;430(3):246-50.

The mitochondrial small heat-shock protein protects NADH:ubiquinone oxidoreductase of the electron transport chain during heat stress in plants.

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Department of Biology, University of Charleston, SC 29424, USA.


Functional inactivation of the mitochondrial small heat-shock protein (lmw Hsp) in submitochondrial vesicles using protein-specific antibodies indicated that this protein protects NADH:ubiquinone oxidoreductase (complex I), and consequently electron transport from complex I to cytochrome c:O2 oxidoreductase (complex IV). Lmw Hsp function completely accounted for heat acclimation of complex I electron transport in pre-heat-stressed plants. Addition of purified lmw Hsp to submitochondrial vesicles lacking this Hsp increased complex I electron transport rates 100% in submitochondrial vesicles assayed at high temperatures. These results indicate that production of the mitochondrial lmw Hsp is an important adaptation to heat stress in plants.

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