Cryo-EM structure of respiratory complex I reveals a link to mitochondrial sulfur metabolism

  • Mitochondrial complex I is a 1MDa membrane protein complex with a central role in aerobic energy metabolism. The bioenergetic core functions are executed by 14 central subunits that are conserved from bacteria to man. Despite recent progress in structure determination, our understanding of the function of the ~30 accessory subunits associated with the mitochondrial complex is still limited. We have investigated the structure of complex I from the aerobic yeast Yarrowia lipolytica by cryo-electron microscopy. Our density map at 7.9Å resolution closely matches the 3.6-3.9Å X-ray structure of the Yarrowia lipolytica complex. However, the cryo-EM map indicated an additional subunit on the side of the matrix arm above the membrane surface, pointing away from the membrane arm. The density, which is not present in any previously described complex I structure and occurs in about 20 % of the particles, was identified as the accessory sulfur transferase subunit ST1. The Yarrowia lipolytica complex I preparation is active in generating H2S from the cysteine derivative 3-mercaptopyruvate, catalyzed by ST1. We thus provide evidence for a link between respiratory complex I and mitochondrial sulfur metabolism.

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Author:Edoardo D'ImprimaORCiDGND, Deryck J. MillsORCiD, Kristian Kurt PareyORCiDGND, Ulrich BrandtORCiDGND, Werner KühlbrandtORCiDGND, Volker ZickermannORCiDGND, Janet VonckORCiD
Pubmed Id:
Parent Title (English):Biochimica et Biophysica Acta
Document Type:Article
Year of Completion:2016
Year of first Publication:2016
Publishing Institution:Universitätsbibliothek Johann Christian Senckenberg
Release Date:2016/10/26
Tag:Complex I; Cryo-electron microscopy; Electron transport chain; Mitochondria; NADH:ubiquinone oxidoreductase; Sulfur metabolism
Page Number:8
First Page:1935
Last Page:1942
© 2016 The Authors. Published by Elsevier B.V. This is an open access article under the CC BY-NC-ND license (
Institutes:Medizin / Medizin
Dewey Decimal Classification:5 Naturwissenschaften und Mathematik / 57 Biowissenschaften; Biologie / 570 Biowissenschaften; Biologie
6 Technik, Medizin, angewandte Wissenschaften / 61 Medizin und Gesundheit / 610 Medizin und Gesundheit
Licence (German):License LogoCreative Commons - Namensnennung-Nicht kommerziell - Keine Bearbeitung 4.0