NDUFAF3 is located on the p arm of chromosome 3 in position 21.31 and has 7 exons. The NDUFAF3 gene produces a 20.4 kDa protein composed of 184 amino acids.NDUFAF3 encodes two isoforms which have a common DUF498 domain. Predictions indicate that isoform A contains an additional 35 amino acid N-terminal sequence and is thus longer than isoform B. The extra sequence may be involved in mitochondrial targeting, supporting NDUFAF3's function in mitochondrial assembly.
NADH:ubiquinone oxidoreductase (complex I) catalyzes the transfer of electrons from NADH to ubiquinone (coenzyme Q) in the first step of the mitochondrial respiratory chain, resulting in the translocation of protons across the mitochondrial inner membrane. The NDUFAF3 gene encodes a mitochondrial complex I assembly protein that localizes to the mitochondrial inner membrane and interacts with complex I subunits and is important for the correct function of the mitochondrial respiratory chain.
NDUFAF3 colocalizes, comigrates to several assembly intermediates, and is codependent with NDUFAF4 from the early to late stages of complex I assembly. In addition to their close interactions with each other, NDUFAF3 and NDUFAF4 interact with NDUFS2, NDUFS3, NDUFS8, and NDUFA5 in a translation-dependent early assembly mechanism. It is also suggested that NDUFAF3 is involved in coupling mitochondrial translation with membrane insertion in the process of complex I assembly.
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