The mtDNA-encoded ND6 subunit of mitochondrial NADH dehydrogenase is essential for the assembly of the membrane arm and the respiratory function of the enzyme

Yidong Bai, Giuseppe Attardi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

157 Scopus citations

Abstract

Seven of the ~ 40 subunits of the mammalian respiratory NADH dehydrogenase (Complex I) are encoded in mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA). Their function is almost completely unknown. In this work, a novel selection scheme has led to the isolation of a mouse A9 cell derivative defective in NADH dehydrogenase activity. This cell line carries a near-homoplasmic frameshift mutation in the mtDNA gene for the ND6 subunit resulting in an almost complete absence of this polypeptide, while lacking any mutation in the other mtDNA-encoded subunits of the enzyme complex. Both the functional defect and the mutation were transferred with the mutant mitochondria into mtDNA-less (p0) mouse LL/2-m21 cells, pointing to the pure mitochondrial genetic origin of the defect. A detailed biosynthetic and functional analysis of the original mutant and of the p0 cell transformants revealed that the mutation causes a loss of assembly of the mtDNA-encoded subunits of the enzyme and, correspondingly, a reduction in malate/glutamate-dependent respiration in digitonin-permeabilized cells by ~ 90% and a decrease in NADH:Q1 oxidoreductase activity in mitochondrial extracts by ~ 99%. Furthermore, the ND6- cells, in contrast to the parental cells, completely fail to grow in a medium containing galactose instead of glucose, indicating a serious impairment in oxidative phosphorylation function. These observations provide the first evidence of the essential role of the ND6 subunit in the respiratory function of Complex I and give some insights into the pathogenic mechanism of the known disease-causing ND6 gene mutations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4848-4858
Number of pages11
JournalEMBO Journal
Volume17
Issue number16
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 17 1998

Keywords

  • Frameshift mutation
  • Mouse cell line
  • NADH:Q oxidoreductase activity
  • Rotenone resistance
  • mtDNA-less cells

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Molecular Biology
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Immunology and Microbiology(all)

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