The 12.3 kDa subunit of complex I (respiratory-chain NADH dehydrogenase) is a nuclear-coded protein of the hydrophobic fragment of the enzyme. We have isolated and sequenced a full-length cDNA clone coding for this polypeptide. The deduced protein is 104 amino acid residues long with a molecular mass of 12305 Da. This particular subunit of complex I lacks a cleavable mitochondrial targeting sequence. In agreement with its localization within complex I, we have found that this subunit behaves like an intrinsic membrane protein. Nevertheless, the deduced protein is rather hydrophilic, exhibiting no hydrophobic domain long enough to traverse a membrane in an alpha-helical conformation. The 12.3 kDa subunit shows a significant similarity to the hinge protein of complex III, suggesting that these two polypeptides may be involved in identical functions. This complex I subunit is coded for by a single gene. Applying restriction-fragment-length-polymorphism mapping, we located the gene on the right side of the centromere in linkage group I, linked to the lys-4 locus.
- © 1993 The Biochemical Society, London