Subfractionation studies showed that cytochrome b5 (cyt b5), which has been considered to be a typical ER protein, was localized in both the endoplasmic reticulum membrane (ER) and the outer membrane of mitochondria in cauliflower (Brassica olracea) cells and was a component of antimycin A-insensitive NADH-cytochrome c reductase system in both membranes. When cDNA for cauliflower cyt b5 was introduced into mammalian (COS-7) and yeast cells as well as into onion cells, the expressed cytochrome was localized both in the ER and mitochondria in those cells. On the other hand, rat and yeast cyt b5s were specifically localized in the ER membranes even in the onion cells. Mutation experiments showed that cauliflower cyt b5 carries information that targets it to the ER and mitochondria within the carboxy-terminal 10 amino acids, as in the case of rat and yeast cyt b5s, and that replacement of basic amino acids in this region of cauliflower cyt b5 with neutral or acidic ones resulted in its distribution only in the ER. Together with the established findings of the importance of basic amino acids in mitochondrial targeting signals, these results suggest that charged amino acids in the carboxy-terminal portion of cyt b5 determine its location in the cell, and that the same mechanism of signal recognition and of protein transport to organelles works in mammalian, plant, and yeast cells.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Molecular Biology