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Gonzalez-Halphen, D; Perez-Martinez, X; Funes, S; Davidson, E; Claros, MG; van Lis, R; Vazquez-Acevedo, M; King, MP (2002)

THE TYPICALLY MITOCHONDRIAL DNA-ENCODED ATP6 SUBUNIT OF THE F1F0-ATPASE IS ENCODED BY A NUCLEAR GENE IN CHLAMYDOMONAS REINHARDTII

J BIOL CHEM 277(8):6051-6058
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The atp6 gene, encoding the ATP6 subunit of F1F0-ATP synthase, has thus far been found only as an mtDNA-encoded gene. However, atp6 is absent from mtDNAs of some species, including that of Chlamydomonas reinhardtii. Analysis of C. reinhardtii expressed sequence tags revealed three overlapping sequences that encoded a protein with similarity to ATP6 proteins. PCR and 5'- and 3'-RACE were used to obtain the complete cDNA and genomic sequences of C. reinhardtii atp6. The atp6 gene exhibited characteristics of a nucleus-encoded gene: Southern hybridization signals consistent with nuclear localization, the presence of introns, and a codon usage and a polyadenylation signal typical of nuclear genes. The corresponding ATP6 protein was confirmed as a subunit of the mitochondrial F1F0-ATP synthase from C. reinhardtii by N-terminal sequencing. The predicted ATP6 polypeptide has a 107-amino acid cleavable mitochondrial targeting sequence. The mean hydrophobicity of the protein is decreased in those transmembrane regions that are predicted not to participate directly in proton translocation or in intersubunit contacts with the multimeric ring of c subunits. This is the first example of a mitochondrial protein with more than two transmembrane stretches, directly involved in proton translocation, that is nucleus-encoded.