A cAMP-dependent protein kinase (PKA) is localized in mammalian mitochondria with the catalytic site at the matrix side of the membrane where it phosphorylates a number of proteins. One of these is the 18 kDa(IP) subunit of the mammalian complex I of the respiratory chain, encoded by the nuclear NDUFS4 gene. Mitochondria have a Ca2+-inhibited phosphatase, which dephosphorylates the 18 kDa phosphoprotein of complex I. In fibroblast and myoblast cultures cAMP-dependent phosphorylation of the 18 kDa protein is associated with stimulation of complex I and overall respiratory activity with NAD-linked substrates. Mutations in the human NDUFS4 gene have been found, which in the homozygous state are associated with deficiency of complex I and fatal neurological syndrome.

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