A highly conserved glutamate residue (E270) is essential for alternative oxidase activity.

Albury, Mary S, Affourtit, Charles and Moore, Anthony L (1998) A highly conserved glutamate residue (E270) is essential for alternative oxidase activity. Journal of Biological Chemistry, 273 (46). pp. 30301-30305. ISSN 0021-9258

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We have previously demonstrated that expression of a Sauromatum guttatum alternative oxidase in Schizosaccharomyces pombe confers cyanide-resistant respiratory activity on these cells (Albury, M. S., Dudley, P., Watts, F. Z., and Moore, A. L. (1996) J. Biol. Chem. 271, 17062-17066). Using this functional expression system we have investigated the active site of the plant alternative oxidase, which has been postulated to comprise a non-heme binuclear iron center. Mutation of a conserved glutamate (Glu-270), previously postulated to be a bridging ligand within the active site, to asparagine abolishes catalytic activity because mitochondria containing the E270N mutant protein do not exhibit antimycin A-resistant respiration. Western blot analysis, using antibodies specific for the alternative oxidase, revealed that the E270N mutant protein was targeted to and processed by S. pombe mitochondria in a manner similar to that of the wild type protein. It is possible that lack of antimycin A-insensitive respiration observed in mitochondria containing the E270N mutant protein is due to incorrect insertion of the mutant alternative oxidase into the inner mitochondrial membrane. However, Western blot analysis of subfractionated mitochondria shows that both wild-type and E270N alternative oxidase are specifically located in the inner mitochondrial membrane, suggesting that misfolding or lack of insertion is unlikely. These results provide the first experimental evidence to support the structural model in which the active site of the alternative oxidase contains a coupled binuclear iron center.

Item Type: Article
Schools and Departments: School of Life Sciences > Biochemistry
Depositing User: Mary Albury
Date Deposited: 06 Feb 2012 20:15
Last Modified: 22 Mar 2012 11:37
URI: http://sro.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/24980
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