Enhanced mitochondrial degradation of yeast cytochrome c with amphipathic structures.
The dispensable N-terminus of iso-1-cytochrome c (iso-1) in the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae was replaced by 11 different amphipathic structures. Rapid degradation of the corresponding iso-1 occurred, with the degree of degradation increasing with the amphipathic moments; and this amphipathic-dependent degradation was designated ADD. ADD occurred with the holo-forms in the mitochondria but not as the apo-forms in the cytosol. The extreme mutant type degraded with a half-life of approximately 12 min, whereas the normal iso-1 was stable over hours. ADD was influenced by the rho+/rho- state and by numerous chromosomal genes. Most importantly, ADD appeared to be specifically suppressed to various extents by deletions of any of the YME1, AFG3, or RCA1 genes encoding membrane-associated mitochondrial proteases, probably because the amphipathic structures caused a stronger association with the mitochondrial inner membrane and its associated proteases. The use of ADD assisted in the differentiation of substrates of different mitochondrial degradation pathways.