Functional complementation of an oxa1- yeast mutation identifies an Arabidopsis thaliana cDNA involved in the assembly of respiratory complexes

Patrice Hamel, Wataru Sakamoto, Henri Wintz, Geneviève Dujardin

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The nuclear gene OXA1 is essential for respiratory growth in yeast. It codes for a chaperon-like protein, and has pleiotropic effects on the assembly of cytochrome c oxidase and ATP synthase of the mitochondrial respiratory chain. To study respiratory complex formation in plants, we have cloned a homolog of the yeast oxa1- in Arabidopsis thaliana, OXA1At, by functional complementation of a yeast oxa- mutant. OXA1At is a single copy gene and appears to be constitutively expressed in A. thaliana. Although OXA1At encodes a protein sharing only 30% amino acid identity with the yeast Oxa1 protein, hydrophobic domains likely corresponding to trans-membrane domains are strictly conserved. Cytochrome spectra and measurements of respiratory activities show that replacement of the yeast Oxa1 protein with the A. thaliana homolog leads to correct assembly and activity of cytochrome c oxidase, but to partial restoration of ATPase activity. Our results suggest that the Oxa1At protein is essential for the respiratory complex assembly in A. thaliana, and that genes involved in mitochondrial multiprotein complex formation can be conserved between plants and other organisms.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1319-1327
Number of pages9
JournalPlant Journal
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Dec 1 1997


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Genetics
  • Plant Science
  • Cell Biology

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