Complex I (nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide-ubiquinone reductase) is a complex enzyme system located in the inner mitochondrial membrane. It has the ability to catalyze several different enzymatic reactions in electron transport, and is known to be one of the respiratory chain components most sensitive to ischaemia. Mitochondria and two complexes I (complex IA and complex IB) were isolated from normal and ischaemic myocardial tissue. Enzymatic activities, polypeptide composition, as well as other components such as non-haem iron, acid-labile sulphur and ubiquinone, were determined. The results indicated that complex IB reflected the enzymatic changes in the mitochondria during myocardial ischaemia, but complex IA did not. The lesion that resulted from ischaemia was localised as altered enzymatic activities due to a different polypeptide composition, as well as loss of ubiquinone and non-haem iron from complex IB.

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