Lacour T, Achstetter T, Dumas B

J Biol Chem. 1998 Sep 11;273(37):23984–92

The mammalian electron transfer chain of mitochondrial cytochrome P450 forms involved in steroidogenesis includes very specific proteins, namelyadrenodoxin reductase and adrenodoxin. Adrenodoxin reductase transfers electrons from NADPH to adrenodoxin, which subsequently donates them to the cytochrome P450 forms. The Saccharomyces cerevisiae ARH1 gene product (Arh1p) presents homology to mammalian adrenodoxinreductase. We demonstrate the capacity of recombinant Arh1p, made in Escherichia coli, to substitute for its mammalian homologue in ferricyanide,cytochrome c reduction, and, more importantly, in vitro 11beta-hydroxylase assays. Electrons could be transferred from NADPH and NADH as measured in the cytochrome c reduction assay. Apparent Km values were determined to be 0.5, 0.6, and 0.1 microM for NADPH, NADH, and bovineadrenodoxin, respectively. These values differ slightly from those of mammalian adrenodoxin reductase, except for NADH, which is a very poor electron donor to the mammalian protein. Subcellular fractionation studies have localized Arh1p to the inner membrane of yeast mitochondria. The biological function of Arh1p remains unknown, and to date, no mitochondrial cytochrome P450 has been identified. ARH1 is, however, essential foryeast viability because an ARH1 gene disruption is lethal not only in aerobic growth conditions but also, surprisingly enough, during fermentation.