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Comparison of Cysteine and Tryptophan Content of Insoluble Proteins Derived from Wild-Type and mi-1 Strains of Neurospora crassa

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  • Genetics And Molecular Biology
  • Biology


The possibility of an amino acid substitution (cysteine for tryptophan) in a membrane protein of the [mi-1] strain of Neurospora crassa has been investigated in detail by using a double radioactive labeling procedure. Auxotrophic strains of Neurospora having wild-type [+] or [mi-1] cytoplasm have been grown under conditions which result in the specific labeling of protein tryptophan with 3H and protein cysteine with 35S. Although the least soluble 1 to 20% of the [mi-1] mitochondrial membrane protein was usually found to have a higher Cys/Trp ratio (ratio of cysteine plus half-cystine to tryptophan) than the corresponding [+] fraction, it has been shown that these differences were due mainly to the presence of differential amounts of a very insoluble, cysteine-rich (Cys-rich) material. The same Cys-rich material was found in variable amounts in both [+] and [mi-1] cultures, but the concentration was usually higher in the [mi-1] cultures. The Cys-rich material is clearly distinct from “structural protein” on the basis of amino acid composition and appears to have no direct relationship to the [mi-1] phenotype. In the absence of the Cys-rich material, no difference between the Cys/Trp ratios of corresponding [+] and [mi-1] membrane proteins could be detected. We conclude, therefore, that the previously postulated amino acid substitution of cysteine for tryptophan in [mi-1] membrane protein is incorrect.

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