Here we report the localization of protein disulphide isomerase (PDI) in the mitochondrial compartments, comparing it with that of thioredoxin reductase. The latter enzyme is present mostly in the matrix, whereas PDI is located at the level of the outer membrane. We characterize the different submitochondrial fractions with specific marker enzymes. PDI, whether isolated from whole mitochondria or from purified outer membranes, exhibits the same electrophoretic mobility, indicating identical molecular masses. Moreover, immunoblot analysis with monoclonal anti-PDI antibody shows immunoreactivity only with the microsomal PDI, indicating the specificity of the mitochondrial isoform. The significance of these findings is discussed with reference to the potential role of PDI and thioredoxin reductase in regulating the mitochondrial functions dependent on the thiol–disulphide transition.

Abbreviation used: PDI, protein disulphide isomerase.

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