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Published October 31, 1986 | public
Journal Article

URF6, last unidentified reading frame of human mtDNA, codes for an NADH dehydrogenase subunit


The polypeptide encoded in URF6, the last unassigned reading frame of human mitochondrial DNA, has been identified with antibodies to peptides predicted from the DNA sequence. Antibodies prepared against highly purified respiratory chain NADH dehydrogenase from beef heart or against the cytoplasmically synthesized 49-kilodalton iron-sulfur subunit isolated from this enzyme complex, when added to a deoxycholate or a Triton X-100 mitochondrial lysate of HeLa cells, specifically precipitated the URF6 product together with the six other URF products previously identified as subunits of NADH dehydrogenase. These results strongly point to the URF6 product as being another subunit of this enzyme complex. Thus, almost 60% of the protein coding capacity of mammalian mitochondrial DNA is utilized for the assembly of the first enzyme complex of the respiratory chain. The absence of such information in yeast mitochondrial DNA dramatizes the variability in gene content of different mitochondrial genomes.

Additional Information

© 1986 American Association for the Advancement of Science. 15 May 1986; Accepted2 6 August 1986. We thank D. Brow and D. Trovato for assistance in the synthesis of the peptides and P. Mariottini for help in the early immunoprecipitation experiments. Supported by NIH grant GM-11726 to G.A., a grant from the Science and Engineering Research Council to C.I.R., and NSF grant PCM-8118172 to R.F.D. We thank A. Drew for technical help.

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October 20, 2023