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Jimenez-Suarez, Alejandra; Vazquez-Acevedo, Miriam; Miranda-Astudillo, Hector; Gonzalez-Halphen, Diego (2017)

COX2A/COX2B SUBUNIT INTERACTION IN POLYTOMELLA SP CYTOCHROME C OXIDASE: ROLE OF THE COX2B SUBUNIT EXTENSION

J. Bioenerg. Biomembr. 49(6):453-461
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Subunit II of cytochrome c oxidase (Cox2) is usually encoded in the mitochondrial genome, synthesized in the organelle, inserted co-translationally into the inner mitochondrial membrane, and assembled into the respiratory complex. In chlorophycean algae however, the cox2 gene was split into the cox2a and cox2b genes, and in some algal species like Chlamydomonas reinhardtii and Polytomella sp. both fragmented genes migrated to the nucleus. The corresponding Cox2A and Cox2B subunits are imported into mitochondria forming a heterodimeric Cox2 subunit. When comparing the sequences of chlorophycean Cox2A and Cox2B proteins with orthodox Cox2 subunits, a C-terminal extension in Cox2A and an N-terminal extension in Cox2B were identified. It was proposed that these extensions favor the Cox2A/Cox2B interaction. In vitro studies carried out in this work suggest that the removal of the Cox2B extension only partially affects binding of Cox2B to Cox2A. We conclude that this extension is dispensable, but when present it weakly reinforces the Cox2A/Cox2B interaction.