Yeast NDI1 improves oxidative phosphorylation capacity and increases protection against oxidative stress and cell death in cells carrying a Leber's hereditary optic neuropathy mutation

Jeong Soon Park, You fen Li, Yidong Bai

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35 Scopus citations


G11778A in the subunit ND4 gene of NADH dehydrogenase complex is the most common primary mutation found in Leber's hereditary optic neuropathy (LHON) patients. The NDI1 gene, which encodes the internal NADH-quinone oxidoreductase in Saccharomyces cerevisiae, was introduced into the nuclear genome of a mitochondrial defective human cell line, Le1.3.1, carrying the G11778A mutation. In transformant cell lines, LeNDI1-1 and -2, total and complex I-dependent respiration were fully restored and largely resistant to complex I inhibitor, rotenone, indicating a dominant role of NDI1 in the transfer of electrons in the host cells. Whereas the original mutant Le1.3.1 cell grows poorly in medium containing galactose, the transformants have a fully restored growth capacity in galactose medium, although the ATP production was not totally recovered. Furthermore, the increased oxidative stress in the cells carrying the G11778A mutation was alleviated in transformants, demonstrated by a decreased reactive oxygen species (ROS) level. Finally, transformants were also shown to be desensitized to induction to apoptosis and also exhibit greater resistance to paraquat-induced cell death. It is concluded that the yeast NDI1 enzyme can improve the oxidative phosphorylation capacity in cells carrying the G11778A mutation and protect the cells from oxidative stress and cell death.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)533-542
Number of pages10
JournalBiochimica et Biophysica Acta - Molecular Basis of Disease
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 1 2007



  • Apoptosis
  • Complex I
  • LHON
  • Mitochondrial
  • NDI1
  • Oxidative stress

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Medicine
  • Molecular Biology

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