Here we describe for the first time isolation and biochemical characterization of highly purified mitochondrial inner and outer membranes from Pichia pastoris and systematic lipid analysis of submitochondrial fractions. Mitochondria of this yeast are best developed during growth on glycerol or sorbitol, but also on methanol or fatty acids. To obtain organelle membranes at high quality, methods of isolation and subfractionation of mitochondria originally developed for Saccharomyces cerevisiae were adapted and employed. A characteristic feature of the outer mitochondrial membrane of P. pastoris is the higher phospholipid to protein ratio and the lower ergosterol to phospholipid ratio compared to the inner membrane. Another marked difference between the two mitochondrial membranes is the phospholipid composition. Phosphatidylcholine and phosphatidylethanolamine are major phospholipids of both membranes, but the inner membrane is enriched in cardiolipin, whereas the outer membrane contains a high amount of phosphatidylinositol. The fatty acid composition of both mitochondrial membranes is similar. Variation of the carbon source, however, leads to marked changes of the fatty acid pattern both in total and mitochondrial membranes. In summary, our data are the first step to understand the P. pastoris lipidome which will be prerequisite to manipulate membrane components of this yeast for biotechnological purposes.
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