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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Functional analysis of the domains in Cox11.

Cox11 is an intrinsic mitochondrial membrane protein essential for the assembly of an active cytochrome c oxidase complex. Cox11 is tethered to the mitochondrial inner membrane by a single transmembrane helix. Domain mapping was carried out to determine the functional segments of the Cox11 protein. The C-terminal 189 residue Cu(I)-binding domain is shown to be exposed within the mitochondrial intermembrane space. This orientation was demonstrated by the proteolytic susceptibility of a C-terminal Myc epitope tag in mitoplasts but not intact mitochondria. Fusion of the N terminus of Cox11 to the matrix ribosomal protein Rsm22 results in a functional protein capable of suppressing the respiratory defect of both Deltacox11 cells and Deltarsm22 cells. The functionality of the fusion protein suggests that the Cox11 N terminus projects into the matrix. The fusion of the C-terminal segment of Cox11 to Rsm22 resembles a naturally occurring fusion of Cox11 in Schizosaccharomyces pombe to a sequence homologous to the Saccharomyces cerevisiae Rsm22. Studies on a series of SCO1/COX11 chimeras reveal that the matrix domain of Cox11 lacks a specific function, whereas the Cu(I) binding/donating function requires the yeast Cox11 sequence. The Cu(I)-binding domain from human Cox11 cannot functionally replace the yeast sequence. The copper domain of Cox11 may be an important docking motif for Cox1 or a Cox1-associated protein.[1]


  1. Functional analysis of the domains in Cox11. Carr, H.S., Maxfield, A.B., Horng, Y.C., Winge, D.R. J. Biol. Chem. (2005) [Pubmed]
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