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Teintze, Martin; Slaughter, Melvin; Weiss, Hanns; Neupert, Walter (10. September 1982): Biogenesis of mitochondrial ubiquinol. Precursor proteins and their transfer into mitochondria. In: The Journal of Biological Chemistry, Vol. 257, No. 17: pp. 10364-10371


The precursor proteins to the subunits of ubiquinol:cytochrome c reductase (cytochrome bc1 complex) of Neurospora crassa were synthesized in a reticulocyte lysate. These precursors were immunoprecipitated with antibodies prepared against the individual subunits and compared to the mature subunits immunoprecipitated or isolated from mitochondria. Most subunits were synthesized as precursors with larger apparent molecular weights (subunits I, 51,500 versus 50,000; subunit II, 47,500 versus 45,000; subunit IV (cytochrome c1), 38,000 versus 31,000; subunit V (Fe-S protein), 28,000 versus 25,000; subunit VII, 12,000 versus 11,500; subunit VIII, 11,600 versus 11,200). Subunit VI (14,000) was synthesized with the same apparent molecular weight. The post-translational transfer of subunits I, IV, V, and VII was studied in an in vitro system employing reticulocyte lysate and isolated mitochondria. The transfer and proteolytic processing of these precursors was found to be dependent on the mitochondrial membrane potential. In the transfer of cytochrome c1, the proteolytic processing appears to take place in two separate steps via an intermediate both in vivo and in vitro. In vivo, the intermediate form accumulated when cells were kept at 8 degrees C and was chased into mature cytochrome c1 at 25 degrees C. Both processing steps were energy- dependent.