Nargang, Frank E. and Drygas, Mariola E. and Kwong, Patrick L. and Nicholson, Donald W. and Neupert, Walter
A mutant of Neurospora crassa deficient in cytochrome c heme lyase activity cannot import cytochrome c into mitochondria.
In: The Journal of Biological Chemistry, Vol. 263, No. 19: pp. 9388-9394
The nuclear cyt-2-1 mutant of Neurospora crassa is characterized by a gross deficiency of cytochrome c (Bertrand, H., and Collins, R. A. (1978) Mol. Gen. Genet. 166, 1-13). The mutant produces mRNA that can be translated into apocytochrome c in vitro. Apocytochrome c is also synthesized in vivo in cyt-2-1, but it is rapidly degraded and thus does not accumulate in the cytosol. Mitochondria from wild-type cells bind apocytochrome c made in vitro from either wild-type or cyt-2-1 mRNA and convert it to holocytochrome c. This conversion depends on the addition of heme by cytochrome c heme lyase and is coupled to translocation of cytochrome c into the intermembrane space. Mitochondria from the cyt-2-1 strain are deficient in the ability to bind apocytochrome c. They are also completely devoid of cytochrome c heme lyase activity. These defects explain the inability of the cyt-2-1 mutant to convert apocytochrome c to the holo form and to import it into mitochondria.