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Efficient selection and characterization of mutants of a human cell line which are defective in mitochondrial DNA-encoded subunits of respiratory NADH dehydrogenase

Hofhaus, Götz and Attardi, Giuseppe (1995) Efficient selection and characterization of mutants of a human cell line which are defective in mitochondrial DNA-encoded subunits of respiratory NADH dehydrogenase. Molecular and Cellular Biology, 15 (2). pp. 964-974. ISSN 0270-7306. http://resolver.caltech.edu/CaltechAUTHORS:HOFmcb95

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Abstract

The mitochondrial NADH dehydrogenase (complex I) in mammalian cells is a multimeric enzyme consisting of approximately 40 subunits, 7 of which are encoded in mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA). Very little is known about the function of these mtDNA-encoded subunits. In this paper, we describe the efficient isolation from a human cell line of mutants affected in any of these subunits. In the course of analysis of eight mutants of the human cell line VA2B selected for their resistance to high concentrations of the complex I inhibitor rotenone, seven were found to be respiration deficient, and among these, six exhibited a specific defect of complex I. Transfer of mitochondria from these six mutants into human mtDNA-less cells revealed, surprisingly, in all cases a cotransfer of the complex I defect but not of the rotenone resistance. This result indicated that the rotenone resistance resulted from a nuclear mutation, while the respiration defect was produced by an mtDNA mutation. A detailed molecular analysis of the six complex I- deficient mutants revealed that two of them exhibited a frameshift mutation in the ND4 gene, in homoplasmic or in heteroplasmic form, resulting in the complete or partial loss, respectively, of the ND4 subunit; two other mutants exhibited a frameshift mutation in the ND5 gene, in near-homoplasmic or heteroplasmic form, resulting in the ND5 subunit being undetectable or strongly decreased, respectively. It was previously reported (G. Hofhaus and G. Attardi, EMBO J. 12:3043-3048, 1993) that the mutant completely lacking the ND4 subunit exhibited a total loss of NADH:Q1 oxidoreductase activity and a lack of assembly of the mtDNA-encoded subunits of complex I. By contrast, in the mutant characterized in this study in which the ND5 subunit was not detectable and which was nearly totally deficient in complex I activity, the capacity to assemble the mtDNA-encoded subunits of the enzyme was preserved, although with a decreased efficiency or a reduced stability of the assembled complex. The two remaining complex I-deficient mutants exhibited a normal rate of synthesis and assembly of the mtDNA-encoded subunits of the enzyme, and the mtDNA mutation(s) responsible for their NADH dehydrogenase defect remains to be identified. The selection scheme used in this work has proven to be very valuable for the isolation of mutants from the VA2B cell line which are affected in different mtDNA-encoded subunits of complex I and may be applicable to other cell lines.


Item Type:Article
Additional Information:Copyright © 1995 by the American Society for Microbiology. Received 12 September 1994/Accepted 31 October 1994 These investigations were supported by NIH grant GM-11726 to G.A. and by fellowships from the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft and the Muscular Dystrophy Association to G.H. We thank Benneta Keeley for valuable technical assistance and Anne Chomyn for a gift of gamma globulins from an antiserum against the anti-49-kDa-subunit antibodies.
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:HOFmcb95
Persistent URL:http://resolver.caltech.edu/CaltechAUTHORS:HOFmcb95
Alternative URL:http://mcb.asm.org/cgi/content/abstract/15/2/964
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ID Code:5579
Collection:CaltechAUTHORS
Deposited By: Archive Administrator
Deposited On:25 Oct 2006
Last Modified:26 Dec 2012 09:13

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