Characterization of the mitochondrial protein LETM1, which maintains the mitochondrial tubular shapes and interacts with the AAA-ATPase BCS1L
ABSTRACT LETM1 is located in the chromosomal region that is deleted in patients suffering Wolf-Hirschhorn syndrome; it encodes a homolog of the yeast protein Mdm38 that is involved in mitochondrial morphology. Here, we describe the LETM1-mediated regulation of the mitochondrial volume and its interaction with the mitochondrial AAA-ATPase BCS1L that is responsible for three different human disorders. LETM1 is a mitochondrial inner-membrane protein with a large domain extruding to the matrix. The LETM1 homolog LETM2 is a mitochondrial protein that is expressed preferentially in testis and sperm. LETM1 downregulation caused mitochondrial swelling and cristae disorganization, but seemed to have little effect on membrane fusion and fission. Formation of the respiratory-chain complex was impaired by LETM1 knockdown. Cells lacking mitochondrial DNA lost active respiratory chains but maintained mitochondrial tubular networks, indicating that mitochondrial swelling caused by LETM1 knockdown is not caused by the disassembly of the respiratory chains. LETM1 was co-precipitated with BCS1L and formation of the LETM1 complex depended on BCS1L levels, suggesting that BCS1L stimulates the assembly of the LETM1 complex. BCS1L knockdown caused disassembly of the respiratory chains as well as LETM1 downregulation and induced distinct changes in mitochondrial morphology.
- SourceAvailable from: Luca ScorranoThe Journal of General Physiology 06/2012; 139(6):445-54. DOI:10.1085/jgp.201110757 · 4.57 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Mitochondria are organelles with a complex architecture. They are bounded by an envelope consisting of the outer membrane and the inner boundary membrane (IBM). Narrow crista junctions (CJs) link the IBM to the cristae. OMs and IBMs are firmly connected by contact sites (CS). The molecular nature of the CS remained unknown. Using quantitative high-resolution mass spectrometry we identified a novel complex, the mitochondrial contact site (MICOS) complex, formed by a set of mitochondrial membrane proteins that is essential for the formation of CS. MICOS is preferentially located at the CJs. Upon loss of one of the MICOS subunits, CJs disappear completely or are impaired, showing that CJs require the presence of CS to form a superstructure that links the IBM to the cristae. Loss of MICOS subunits results in loss of respiratory competence and altered inheritance of mitochondrial DNA.The EMBO Journal 11/2011; 30(21):4356-70. DOI:10.1038/emboj.2011.379 · 10.75 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Mutations in BCS1L, an assembly factor that facilitates the insertion of the catalytic Rieske Iron-Sulfur subunit into respiratory chain complex III, result in a wide variety of clinical phenotypes that range from the relatively mild Björnstad syndrome to the severe GRA-CILE syndrome. To better understand the pathophysio-logical consequences of such mutations, we studied fibroblasts from six complex III-deficient patients harbor-ing mutations in the BCS1L gene. Cells from patients with the most severe clinical phenotypes exhibited slow growth rates in glucose medium, variable combined enzyme deficiencies, and assembly defects of respiratory chain complexes I, III, and IV, increased H 2 O 2 levels, unbalanced expression of the cellular antioxidant defenses, and apoptotic cell death. In addition, all patients showed cytosolic accumulation of the BCS1L protein, suggestive of an impaired mitochondrial import, assembly or stability defects of the BCS1L complex, fragmentation of the mitochondrial networks, and decreased MFN2 protein levels. The observed structural alterations were independent of the respiratory chain function and ROS production. Our results provide new insights into the role of pathogenic BCS1L mutations in mitochondrial function and dynamics. Hum Mutat 31:930–941, 2010. & 2010 Wiley-Liss, Inc.