Cytochrome oxidase subunit V gene of Neurospora crassa: DNA sequences, chromosomal mapping, and evidence that the cya-4 locus specifies the structural gene for subunit V. Academic Article uri icon


  • The sequences of cDNA and genomic DNA clones for Neurospora cytochrome oxidase subunit V show that the protein is synthesized as a 171-amino-acid precursor containing a 27-amino-acid N-terminal extension. The subunit V protein sequence is 34% identical to that of Saccharomyces cerevisiae subunit V; these proteins, as well as the corresponding bovine subunit, subunit IV, contain a single hydrophobic domain which most likely spans the inner mitochondrial membrane. The Neurospora crassa subunit V gene (cox5) contains two introns, 398 and 68 nucleotides long, which share the conserved intron boundaries 5'GTRNGT...CAG3' and the internal consensus sequence ACTRACA. Two short sequences, YGCCAG and YCCGTTY, are repeated four times each in the cox5 gene upstream of the mRNA 5' termini. The cox5 mRNA 5' ends are heterogeneous, with the major mRNA 5' end located 144 to 147 nucleotides upstream from the translational start site. The mRNA contains a 3'-untranslated region of 186 to 187 nucleotides. Using restriction-fragment-length polymorphism, we mapped the cox5 gene to linkage group IIR, close to the arg-5 locus. Since one of the mutations causing cytochrome oxidase deficiency in N. crassa, cya-4-23, also maps there, we transformed the cya-4-23 strain with the wild-type cox5 gene. In contrast to cya-4-23 cells, which grow slowly, cox5 transformants grew quickly, contained cytochrome oxidase, and had 8- to 11-fold-higher levels of subunit V in their mitochondria. These data suggest (i) that the cya-4 locus in N. crassa specifies structural information for cytochrome oxidase subunit V and (ii) that, in N. crassa, as in S. cerevisiae, deficiencies in the production of nuclearly encoded cytochrome oxidase subunits result in deficiency in cytochrome oxidase activity. Finally, we show that the lower levels of subunit V in cya-4-23 cells are most likely due to substantially reduced levels of translatable subunit V mRNA.

published proceedings

  • Mol Cell Biol

author list (cited authors)

  • Sachs, M. S., Bertrand, H., Metzenberg, R. L., & RajBhandary, U. L.

citation count

  • 1

complete list of authors

  • Sachs, MS||Bertrand, H||Metzenberg, RL||RajBhandary, UL

publication date

  • February 1989