Energy-induced structural changes in NADH: Q oxidoreductase of the mitochondrial respiratory chain

A. M.Ph de Jong, A. B. Kotlyar, S. P.J. Albracht

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22 Scopus citations


The reaction of coupled submitochondrial particles (SMP) with NADH was studied in the absence and presence of the uncoupler gramicidin, both in pre-steady-state and steady-state experiments. It was shown that the formation of ubisemiquinones associated with NADH: Q oxidoreductase is insensitive to uncouplers. It was found, however, that in the absence of gramicidin the ubisemiquinone showed a noticeably faster relaxation than in the presence of this uncoupler. During steady-state oxidation of NADH by coupled submitochondrial particles, the EPR signal of iron-sulphur cluster 2 of complex I, the cluster that is generally believed to be the electron donor for ubiquinone, showed some remarkable changes. Its gz line seemed to disappear from the spectrum, although the gxy line remained clearly present. Detailed EPR analysis indicated that (a component of) the gz line shifted to higher field. The temperature dependence of the EPR signal of cluster 2 was affected as well. In the presence of uncoupler the EPR properties of cluster 2 were indistinguishable from those in particles that showed no intrinsic coupling. These experiments strongly indicate that the coordination of cluster 2 is different in energized and non-energized SMP. The pre-steady-state reaction between these submitochondrial particles and NADH showed that the uncoupler-sensitive changes in both the ubisemiquinone and cluster 2 became effective between 9 ms and 30 ms. Similar changes were observed during succinate-driven reverse electron transfer. This report shows, for the first time, energy-induced structural changes in NADH: Q oxidoreductase.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)163-171
Number of pages9
JournalBiochimica et Biophysica Acta - Bioenergetics
Issue number3
StatePublished - 29 Jul 1994


FundersFunder number
Federation of European Biochemical Societies


    • (Bovine heart mitochondria)
    • Energy coupling
    • Fe-S cluster
    • NADH
    • Pre-steady-state kinetics
    • Q oxidoreductase
    • Ubisemiquinone


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