[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Mitochondria are emerging as important players in the transformation process of cells, maintaining the biosynthetic and energetic capacities of cancer cells and serving as one of the primary sites of apoptosis and autophagy regulation. Although several avenues of cancer therapy have focused on mitochondria, progress in developing mitochondria-targeting anticancer drugs nonetheless has been slow, owing to the limited number of known mitochondrial target proteins that link metabolism with autophagy or cell death. Recent studies have demonstrated that two members of the newly discovered family of NEET proteins, NAF-1 (CISD2) and mitoNEET (mNT; CISD1), could play such a role in cancer cells. NAF-1 was shown to be a key player in regulating autophagy, and mNT was proposed to mediate iron and reactive oxygen homeostasis in mitochondria. Here we show that the protein levels of NAF-1 and mNT are elevated in human epithelial breast cancer cells, and that suppressing the level of these proteins using shRNA results in significantly reduced cell proliferation and tumor growth, decreased mitochondrial performance, uncontrolled accumulation of iron and reactive oxygen in mitochondria, and activation of autophagy. Our findings highlight NEET proteins as promising mitochondrial targets for cancer therapy.
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 08/2013; · 9.74 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Nutrient-deprivation autophagy factor-1 (NAF-1) (synonyms: Cisd2, Eris, Miner1, and Noxp70) is a [2Fe-2S] cluster protein immune-detected both in endoplasmic reticulum (ER) and mitochondrial outer membrane. It was implicated in human pathology (Wolfram Syndrome 2) and in BCL-2 mediated antagonization of Beclin 1-dependent autophagy and depression of ER calcium stores. To gain insights about NAF-1 functions, we investigated the biochemical properties of its 2Fe-2S cluster and sensitivity of those properties to small molecules. The structure of the soluble domain of NAF-1 shows that it forms a homodimer with each protomer containing a [2Fe-2S] cluster bound by 3 Cys and one His. NAF-1 has shown the unusual abilities to transfer its 2Fe-2S cluster to an apo-acceptor protein (followed in vitro by spectrophotometry and by native PAGE electrophoresis) and to transfer iron to intact mitochondria in cell models (monitored by fluorescence imaging with iron fluorescent sensors targeted to mitochondria). Importantly, the drug pioglitazone abrogates NAF-1's ability to transfer the cluster to acceptor proteins and iron to mitochondria. Similar effects were found for the anti-diabetes and longevity-promoting antioxidant resveratrol. These results reveal NAF-1 as a previously unidentified cell target of anti-diabetes thiazolidinedione drugs like pioglitazone and of the natural product resveratrol, both of which interact with the protein and stabilize its labile [2Fe-2S] cluster.
PLoS ONE 01/2013; 8(5):e61202. · 3.73 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The NEET family is a newly discovered group of proteins involved in a diverse array of biological processes, including autophagy, apoptosis, aging, diabetes, and reactive oxygen homeostasis. They form a novel structure, the NEET fold, in which two protomers intertwine to form a two-domain motif, a cap, and a unique redox-active labile 2Fe-2S cluster binding domain. To accelerate the functional study of NEET proteins, as well as to examine whether they have an evolutionarily conserved role, we identified and characterized a plant NEET protein. Here, we show that the Arabidopsis thaliana At5g51720 protein (At-NEET) displays biochemical, structural, and biophysical characteristics of a NEET protein. Phenotypic characterization of At-NEET revealed a key role for this protein in plant development, senescence, reactive oxygen homeostasis, and Fe metabolism. A role in Fe metabolism was further supported by biochemical and cell biology studies of At-NEET in plant and mammalian cells, as well as mutational analysis of its cluster binding domain. Our findings support the hypothesis that NEET proteins have an ancient role in cells associated with Fe metabolism.
The Plant Cell 05/2012; 24(5):2139-54. · 9.25 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: MitoNEET (mNT) is an outer mitochondrial membrane target of the thiazolidinedione diabetes drugs with a unique fold and a labile [2Fe-2S] cluster. The rare 1-His and 3-Cys coordination of mNT's [2Fe-2S] leads to cluster lability that is strongly dependent on the presence of the single histidine ligand (His87). These properties of mNT are similar to known [2Fe-2S] shuttle proteins. Here we investigated whether mNT is capable of cluster transfer to acceptor protein(s). Facile [2Fe-2S] cluster transfer is observed between oxidized mNT and apo-ferredoxin (a-Fd) using UV-VIS spectroscopy and native-PAGE, as well as with a mitochondrial iron detection assay in cells. The transfer is unidirectional, proceeds to completion, and occurs with a second-order-reaction rate that is comparable to known iron-sulfur transfer proteins. Mutagenesis of His87 with Cys (H87C) inhibits transfer of the [2Fe-2S] clusters to a-Fd. This inhibition is beyond that expected from increased cluster kinetic stability, as the equivalently stable Lys55 to Glu (K55E) mutation did not inhibit transfer. The H87C mutant also failed to transfer its iron to mitochondria in HEK293 cells. The diabetes drug pioglitazone inhibits iron transfer from WT mNT to mitochondria, indicating that pioglitazone affects a specific property, [2Fe-2S] cluster transfer, in the cellular environment. This finding is interesting in light of the role of iron overload in diabetes. Our findings suggest a likely role for mNT in [2Fe-2S] and/or iron transfer to acceptor proteins and support the idea that pioglitazone's antidiabetic mode of action may, in part, be to inhibit transfer of mNT's [2Fe-2S] cluster.
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 08/2011; 108(32):13047-52. · 9.74 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: MitoNEET is the only identified Fe-S protein localized to the outer mitochondrial membrane and a 1.5 Å resolution X-ray analysis has revealed a unique structure [Paddock et al. (2007), Proc. Natl Acad. Sci. USA, 104, 14342-14347]. The 2Fe-2S cluster is bound with a 3Cys-1His coordination which defines a new class of 2Fe-2S proteins. The hallmark feature of this class is the single noncysteine ligand His87, which when replaced by Cys decreases the redox potential (E(m)) by ∼300 mV and increases the stability of the cluster by around sixfold. Unexpectedly, the pH dependence of the lifetime of the 2Fe-2S cluster remains the same as in the wild-type protein. Here, the crystal structure of H87C mitoNEET was determined to 1.7 Å resolution (R factor = 18%) to investigate the structural basis of the changes in the properties of the 2Fe-2S cluster. In comparison to the wild type, structural changes are localized to the immediate vicinity of the cluster-binding region. Despite the increased stability, Cys87 displays two distinct conformations, with distances of 2.3 and 3.2 Å between the S(γ) and the outer Fe of the 2Fe-2S cluster. In addition, Lys55 exhibits multiple conformations in the H87C mutant protein. The structure and distinct characteristics of the H87C mutant provide a framework for further studies investigating the effects of mutation on the properties of the 2Fe-2S cluster in this new class of proteins.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: MitoNEET is a newly discovered mitochondrial protein and a target of the TZD class of antidiabetes drugs. MitoNEET is homodimeric with each protomer binding a [2Fe-2S] center through a rare 3-Cys and 1-His coordination geometry. Both the fold and the coordination of the [2Fe-2S] centers suggest that it could have novel properties compared to other known [2Fe-2S] proteins. We tested the robustness of mitoNEET to mutation and the range over which the redox potential (E(M)) could be tuned. We found that the protein could tolerate an array of mutations that modified the E(M) of the [2Fe-2S] center over a range of ∼700 mV, which is the largest E(M) range engineered in an FeS protein and, importantly, spans the cellular redox range (+200 to -300 mV). These properties make mitoNEET potentially useful for both physiological studies and industrial applications as a stable, water-soluble, redox agent.
Journal of the American Chemical Society 09/2010; 132(38):13120-2. · 10.68 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Human mitoNEET is a homodimeric iron-sulfur protein located in the outer mitochondrial membrane with unknown function, but which is known to interact with thiazolidinedione diabetes drugs. Each monomer houses a [2Fe-2S] cluster with an unusual (Cys)(3)(His)(1) ligation. The His ligand is important for enabling cluster release and for tuning the redox potential. We use multifrequency (X-, Ka-, and Q-band) and multitechnique (continuous-wave, electron spin-echo envelope modulation (ESEEM), pulsed electron-nuclear double resonance (ENDOR), and hyperfine sublevel correlation (HYSCORE)) electron paramagnetic resonance spectroscopy to investigate the cluster in its paramagnetic reduced [Fe(2+)Fe(3+)] (S = 1/2) state. It has a rhombic g tensor (2.007, 1.937, 1.897) with an average g value of 1.947 that falls between those of Rieske-type and ferredoxin-type [2Fe-2S] clusters. Simulation and least-squares fitting of orientation-selective Ka- and Q-band ENDOR, 1D ESEEM, and HYSCORE spectra of (14)N and (15)N-labeled mitoNEET yield the principal values and orientations of both the hyperfine tensor ((14)N, A(iso) = -6.25 MHz, T = -0.94 MHz) and the quadrupolar tensor (e(2)Qq/h = -2.47 MHz, eta = 0.38) of the ligating histidine nitrogen N(delta). From these, we can infer the absolute g tensor orientation with respect to the cluster: The g(2) axis is close to perpendicular to the [2Fe-2S] plane, and g(1) and g(3) are in-plane, but skewed from the Fe-Fe and S-S axes. In X-band ENDOR and ESEEM spectra, a weakly coupled nitrogen is visible, most likely the N(epsilon) of the histidine in the protonated state. We find that the cluster is in a valence-localized state, where Fe(2+) is His-bound. The field-sweep spectra show evidence of intercluster dipolar coupling that can be simulated using an uncoupled spin model for each cluster (S(Fe(2+)) = 2, S(Fe(3+)) = 5/2). The parameters determined in this work can function as reporters on how the cluster structure is altered upon pH changes and drug binding.
Journal of the American Chemical Society 02/2010; 132(6):2037-49. · 10.68 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: A primary role for mitochondrial dysfunction is indicated in the pathogenesis of insulin resistance. A widely used drug for the treatment of type 2 diabetes is pioglitazone, a member of the thiazolidinedione class of molecules. MitoNEET, a 2Fe-2S outer mitochondrial membrane protein, binds pioglitazone [Colca et al. (2004), Am. J. Physiol. Endocrinol. Metab. 286, E252-E260]. The soluble domain of the human mitoNEET protein has been expressed C-terminal to the superfolder green fluorescent protein and the mitoNEET protein has been isolated. Comparison of the crystal structure of mitoNEET isolated from cleavage of the fusion protein (1.4 A resolution, R factor = 20.2%) with other solved structures shows that the CDGSH domains are superimposable, indicating proper assembly of mitoNEET. Furthermore, there is considerable flexibility in the position of the cytoplasmic tethering arms, resulting in two different conformations in the crystal structure. This flexibility affords multiple orientations on the outer mitochondrial membrane.
Acta Crystallographica Section F Structural Biology and Crystallization Communications 08/2009; 65(Pt 7):654-9. · 0.55 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: MitoNEET is a 2Fe-2S outer mitochondrial membrane protein that was initially identified as a target for anti-diabetic drugs. It exhibits a novel protein fold, and in contrast to other 2Fe-2S proteins such as Rieske proteins and ferredoxins, the metal clusters in the mitoNEET homodimer are each coordinated by one histidine residue and three cysteine residues. The interaction of the ligating His87 residue with the 2Fe-2S moiety is especially significant because previous studies have shown that replacement with Cys in the H87C mutant stabilizes the cluster against release. Here, we report the resonance Raman spectra of this naturally occurring Fe(2)S(2)(His)(Cys)(3) protein to assess local structural changes associated with cluster lability. Comparison of mitoNEET to its ferredoxin-like H87C mutant indicates that Raman peaks in the approximately 250-300 cm(-1) region of mitoNEET are influenced by the Fe-His87 moiety. Systematic pH-dependent resonance Raman spectral changes were observed in this spectral region for native mitoNEET but not the H87C mutant. The approximately 250-300 cm(-1) region of native mitoNEET is also sensitive to phosphate buffer. Thus, conditions that influence cluster release are shown here to concomitantly affect the resonance Raman spectrum in the region with Fe-His contribution. These results support the hypothesis that the Fe-N(His87) interaction is modulated within the physiological pH range, and this modulation may be critical to the function of mitoNEET.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The endoplasmic reticulum protein Miner1 is essential for health and longevity. Mis-splicing of CISD2, which codes for Miner1, is causative in Wolfram Syndrome 2 (WFS2) resulting in early onset optic atrophy, diabetes mellitus, deafness and decreased lifespan. In knock-out studies, disruption of CISD2 leads to accelerated aging, blindness and muscle atrophy. In this work, we characterized the soluble region of human Miner1 and solved its crystal structure to a resolution of 2.1 Å (R-factor = 17%). Although originally annotated as a zinc finger, we show that Miner1 is a homodimer harboring two redox-active 2Fe-2S clusters, indicating for the first time an association of a redox-active FeS protein with WFS2. Each 2Fe-2S cluster is bound by a rare Cys3-His motif within a 17 amino acid segment. Miner1 is the first functionally different protein that shares the NEET fold with its recently identified paralog mitoNEET, an outer mitochondrial membrane protein. We report the first measurement of the redox potentials (Em) of Miner1 and mitoNEET, showing that they are proton-coupled with Em ∼ 0 mV at pH 7.5. Changes in the pH sensitivity of their cluster stabilities are attributed to significant differences in the electrostatic distribution and surfaces between the two proteins. The structural and biophysical results are discussed in relation to possible roles of Miner1 in cellular Fe-S management and redox reactions.