Mammalian complex I: A regulable and vulnerable pacemaker in mitochondrial respiratory function

Sergio Papa, Domenico De Rasmo, Salvatore Scacco, Anna Signorile, Zuzana Technikova-Dobrova, Giuseppe Palmisano, Anna Maria Sardanelli, Francesco Papa, Damiano Panelli, Raffaella Scaringi, Arcangela Santeramo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In this paper the regulatory features of complex I of mammalian and human mitochondria are reviewed. In a variety of mitotic cell-line cultures, activation in vivo of the cAMP cascade, or direct addition of cAMP, promotes the NADH-ubiquinone oxidoreductase activity of complex I and lower the cellular level of ROS. These effects of cAMP are found to be associated with PKA-mediated serine phosphorylation in the conserved C-terminus of the subunit of complex I encoded by the nuclear gene NDUFS4. PKA mediated phosphorylation of this Ser in the C-terminus of the protein promotes its mitochondrial import and maturation. Mass-spectrometry analysis of the phosphorylation pattern of complex I subunits is also reviewed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)719-728
Number of pages10
JournalBiochimica et Biophysica Acta - Bioenergetics
Issue number7-8
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2008


  • cAMP cascade
  • Complex I
  • Mitochondrial import
  • Mitochondrial phosphoproteome
  • PKA
  • Proton pump

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics


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