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Nicholson, Donald W. and Stuart, Rosemary A. and Neupert, Walter (1989): Biogenesis of cytochrome c1. Role of cytochrome c1 heme lyase and of the two proteolytic processing steps during import into mitochondria. In: The Journal of Biological Chemistry, Vol. 264, No. 17: pp. 10156-10168
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Abstract

The biogenesis of cytochrome c1 involves a number of steps including: synthesis as a precursor with a bipartite signal sequence, transfer across the outer and inner mitochondrial membranes, removal of the first part of the presequence in the matrix, reexport to the outer surface of the inner membrane, covalent addition of heme, and removal of the remainder of the presequence. In this report we have focused on the steps of heme addition, catalyzed by cytochrome c1 heme lyase, and of proteolytic processing during cytochrome c1 import into mitochondria. Following translocation from the matrix side to the intermembrane-space side of the inner membrane, apocytochrome c1 forms a complex with cytochrome c1 heme lyase, and then holocytochrome c1 formation occurs. Holocytochrome c1 formation can also be observed in detergent-solubilized preparations of mitochondria, but only after apocytochrome c1 has first interacted with cytochrome c1 heme lyase to produce this complex. Heme linkage takes place on the intermembrane- space side of the inner mitochondrial membrane and is dependent on NADH plus a cytosolic cofactor that can be replaced by flavin nucleotides. NADH and FMN appear to be necessary for reduction of heme prior to its linkage to apocytochrome c1. The second proteolytic processing of cytochrome c1 does not take place unless the covalent linkage of heme to apocytochrome c1 precedes it. On the other hand, the cytochrome c1 heme lyase reaction itself does not require that processing of the cytochrome c1 precursor to intermediate size cytochrome c1 takes place first. In conclusion, cytochrome c1 heme lyase catalyzes an essential step in the import pathway of cytochrome c1, but it is not involved in the transmembrane movement of the precursor polypeptide. This is in contrast to the case for cytochrome c in which heme addition is coupled to its transport directly across the outer membrane into the intermembrane space.