In Saccharomyces cerevisiae, the NDI1 gene encodes a mitochondrial NADH dehydrogenase, the catalytic side of which projects to the matrix side of the inner mitochondrial membrane. In addition to this NADH dehydrogenase, S. cerevisiae exhibits another mitochondrial NADH-dehydrogenase activity, which oxidizes NADH at the cytosolic side of the inner membrane. To investigate whether open reading frames YMR145c/NDE1 and YDL 085w/NDE2, which exhibit sequence similarity with NDI1, encode the latter enzyme, NADH-dependent mitochondrial respiration was assayed in wild-type S. cerevisiae and nde deletion mutants. Mitochondria were isolated from aerobic, glucose-limited chemostat cultures grown at a dilution rate (D) of 0. 10 h-1, in which reoxidation of cytosolic NADH by wild-type cells occurred exclusively by respiration. Compared with the wild type, rates of mitochondrial NADH oxidation were about 3-fold reduced in an nde1Delta mutant and unaffected in an nde2Delta mutant. NADH-dependent mitochondrial respiration was completely abolished in an nde1Delta nde2Delta double mutant. Mitochondrial respiration of substrates other than NADH was not affected in nde mutants. In shake flasks, an nde1Delta nde2Delta mutant exhibited reduced specific growth rates on ethanol and galactose but not on glucose. Glucose metabolism in aerobic, glucose-limited chemostat cultures (D = 0.10 h-1) of an nde1Delta nde2Delta mutant was essentially respiratory. Apparently, under these conditions alternative systems for reoxidation of cytosolic NADH could replace the role of Nde1p and Nde2p in S. cerevisiae.
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