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A temperature-sensitive yeast mitochondrial mutant with altered cytochrome c oxidase subunit


SOME of the subunits of yeast cytochrome oxidase, cytochrome b and ATPase are synthesised on mitochondrial ribosomes. Inhibition of protein synthesis by antibiotics that specifically affect mitochondrial ribosomes leads to the absence of three subunits of cytochrome oxidase, at least three subunits of ATPase, and a 30,000 molecular weight polypeptide believed to be cytochrome b (ref. 1). This indicated that the mitochondrion is the site of synthesis of these polypeptides, but only inferences could be drawn as to whether their mRNAs were transcribed from mitochondrial DNA (mDNA) or from nuclear DNA. We report here the isolation of a temperature-sensitive mutant of Saccharomyces cerevisiae which is mitochondrially inherited and has an altered subunit of cytochrome c oxidase. The simplest interpretation of our results is that mDNA codes for this subunit.

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