Role of glutamate and nitric oxide in onset of motor neuron degeneration in neurolathyrism.
The sequence of a 19 kDa subunit of NADH:ubiquinone oxidoreductase (complex I) from bovine heart mitochondria has been determined by a new strategy based on the polymerase chain reaction. The subunits of the enzyme were resolved in a polyacrylamide gel by two-dimensional isoelectric focusing and electrophoresis under denaturing conditions, transferred to a poly(vinylidene difluoride) membrane, and the N-terminal sequence was determined on the stained 19 kDa protein up to residue 27. This information was used to design two mixed oligonucleotide primers and a mixed oligonucleotide probe. With total bovine heart cDNA as template, overlapping cDNAs extending to sequences corresponding to both the 5' and 3' extremities of the mRNA coding for the 19 kDa subunit were synthesized in three polymerase chain reactions. These cDNAs were cloned and sequenced and encode a 171-amino-acid mature protein preceded by a methionine residue. The mature protein contains eight cysteine residues spaced at regular intervals through the protein, but the cysteine-rich motifs that are often associated with tetranuclear or binuclear centres in other proteins are not present. However, all eight cysteine residues are strictly conserved in a related protein from Neurospora crassa, suggesting that they have structural and/or functional significance in complex I.