A common ancestor for a subunit in the mitochondrial proton-translocating NADH:ubiquinone oxidoreductase (complex I) and short-chain dehydrogenases/reductases

M. E. Baker, W. N. Grundy, C. P. Elkan

Cellular and Molecular Life Sciences 55(3):450-455, 1999


The proton-translocating NADH:ubiquinone oxidoreductase or complex I is located in the inner membranes of mitochondria, where it catalyzes the transfer of electrons from NADH to ubiquinone. Here we report that one of the subunits in complex I is homologous to short-chain dehydrogenases and reductases, a family of enzymes with diverse activities that include metabolizing steroids, prostaglandins and nucleotide sugars. We discovered that a subunit of complex I in human, cow, Neurospora crassa and Aquifex aeolius is homologous to nucleotide-sugar epimerases and hydroxysteroid dehydrogenases while seeking distant homologs of these enzymes with a hidden Markov model-based search of Genpept. This homology allows us to use information from the solved three-dimensional structures of nucleotide-sugar epimerases and hydroxysteroid dehydrogenases and our motif analysis of these enzymes to predict functional domains on their homologs in complex I.

CMLS version of the article