BBA - Molecular Cell Research (v.1793, #1)

Assembly of the Mitochondrial Respiratory Chain by Dennis R. Winge; Alex Tzagoloff (1).

Cristae formation—linking ultrastructure and function of mitochondria by Michael Zick; Regina Rabl; Andreas S. Reichert (5-19).
Mitochondria are double-membrane enclosed eukaryotic organelles with a central role in numerous cellular functions. The ultrastructure of mitochondria varies considerably between tissues, organisms, and the physiological state of cells. Alterations and remodeling of inner membrane structures are evident in numerous human disorders and during apoptosis. The inner membrane is composed of two subcompartments, the cristae membrane and the inner boundary membrane. Recent advances in electron tomography led to the current view that these membrane domains are connected by rather small tubular structures, termed crista junctions. They have been proposed to regulate the dynamic distribution of proteins and lipids as well as of soluble metabolites between individual mitochondrial subcompartments. One example is the release of cytochrome c upon induction of apoptosis. However, only little is known on the molecular mechanisms mediating the formation and maintenance of cristae and crista junctions. Here we review the current knowledge of the factors that determine cristae morphology and how the latter is linked to mitochondrial function. Further, we formulate several theoretical models which could account for the de novo formation of cristae as well as their propagation from existing cristae.
Keywords: Mitochondria; Cristae formation; Crista junction; Electron tomography; Apoptosis; Mitochondrial dynamics;

The molecular mechanism of mitochondrial fusion by Suzanne Hoppins; Jodi Nunnari (20-26).
This review is focused on mitochondrial membrane fusion, which is a highly conserved process from yeast to human cells. We present observations from both yeast and mammalian cells that have provided insights into the mechanism of mitochondrial fusion and speculate on how the key players, which are dynamin-related GTPases do the work of membrane tethering and fusion.
Keywords: Membrane dynamic; Mitochondrial fusion; Dynamin;

Prohibitins comprise an evolutionary conserved and ubiquitously expressed family of membrane proteins. Various roles in different cellular compartments have been proposed for prohibitin proteins. Recent experiments, however, identify large assemblies of two homologous prohibitin subunits, PHB1 and PHB2, in the inner membrane of mitochondria as the physiologically active structure. Mitochondrial prohibitin complexes control cell proliferation, cristae morphogenesis and the functional integrity of mitochondria. The processing of the dynamin-like GTPase OPA1, a core component of the mitochondrial fusion machinery, has been defined as a key process affected by prohibitins. The molecular mechanism of prohibitin function, however, remained elusive. The ring-like assembly of prohibitins and their sequence similarity with lipid raft-associated SPFH-family members suggests a scaffolding function of prohibitins, which may lead to functional compartmentalization in the inner membrane of mitochondria.
Keywords: Prohibitin; OPA1; Mitochondrial fusion; Cristae; Membrane microdomains; Apoptosis;

Mitochondria are essential organelles of the eukaryotic cells that are made by expansion and division of pre-existing mitochondria. The majority of their protein constituents are synthesized in the cytosol. They are transported into and put together within the organelle. This complex process is facilitated by several protein translocases. Here we summarize current knowledge on these sophisticated molecular machines that mediate recognition, transport across membranes and intramitochondrial sorting of many hundreds of mitochondrial proteins.
Keywords: Mitochondria; Protein translocases; Protein transport; Protein sorting;

Biogenesis of mitochondrial outer membrane proteins by Dirk M. Walther; Doron Rapaport (42-51).
Mitochondria are surrounded by two distinct membranes: the outer and the inner membrane. The mitochondrial outer membrane mediates numerous interactions between the mitochondrial metabolic and genetic systems and the rest of the eukaryotic cell. Proteins of this membrane are nuclear-encoded and synthesized as precursor proteins in the cytosol. They are targeted to the mitochondria and inserted into their target membrane via various pathways. This review summarizes our current knowledge of the sorting signals for this specific targeting and describes the mechanisms by which the mitochondrial import machineries recognize precursor proteins, mediate their membrane integration and facilitate assembly into functional complexes.
Keywords: Mitochondria; Outer membrane; TOM complex; TOB complex; Signal-anchored proteins; Beta-barrel proteins;

The mitochondrial inner membrane has a central function for the energy metabolism of the cell. The respiratory chain generates a proton gradient across the inner mitochondrial membrane, which is used to produce ATP by the F1Fo-ATPase. To maintain the electrochemical gradient, the inner membrane represents an efficient permeability barrier for small molecules. Nevertheless, metabolites as well as polypeptide chains need to be transported across the inner membrane while the electrochemical gradient is retained. While specialized metabolite carrier proteins mediate the transport of small molecules, dedicated protein translocation machineries in the inner mitochondrial membrane (so called TIM complexes) transport precursor proteins across the inner membrane. Here we describe the organization of the TIM complexes and discuss the current models as to how they mediate the posttranslational import of proteins across and into the inner mitochondrial membrane.
Keywords: Mitochondria; Protein complex; Import; Tim protein; Inner membrane;

Roles of Oxa1-related inner-membrane translocases in assembly of respiratory chain complexes by Nathalie Bonnefoy; Heather L. Fiumera; Geneviève Dujardin; Thomas D. Fox (60-70).
Members of the family of the polytopic inner membrane proteins are related to Saccharomyces cerevisiae Oxa1 function in the assembly of energy transducing complexes of mitochondria and chloroplasts. Here we focus on the two mitochondrial members of this family, Oxa1 and Cox18, reviewing studies on their biogenesis as well as their functions, reflected in the phenotypic consequences of their absence in various organisms. In yeast, cytochrome c oxidase subunit II (Cox2) is a key substrate of these proteins. Oxa1 is required for co-translational translocation and insertion of Cox2, while Cox18 is necessary for the export of its C-terminal domain. Genetic and biochemical strategies have been used to investigate the functions of distinct domains of Oxa1 and to identify its partners in protein insertion/translocation. Recent work on the related bacterial protein YidC strongly indicates that it is capable of functioning alone as a translocase for hydrophilic domains and an insertase for TM domains. Thus, the Oxa1 and Cox18 probably catalyze these reactions directly in a co- and/or posttranslational way. In various species, Oxa1 appears to assist in the assembly of different substrate proteins, although it is still unclear how Oxa1 recognizes its substrates, and whether additional factors participate in this beyond its direct interaction with mitochondrial ribosomes, demonstrated in S. cerevisiae. Oxa1 is capable of assisting posttranslational insertion and translocation in isolated mitochondria, and Cox18 may posttranslationally translocate its only known substrate, the Cox2 C-terminal domain, in vivo. Detailed understanding of the mechanisms of action of these two proteins must await the resolution of their structure in the membrane and the development of a true in vitro mitochondrial translation system.
Keywords: Membrane insertion; Membrane translocation; Cytochrome c oxidase; ATP synthase; Mitochondrial ribosome; Cox18; YidC;

The intermembrane space of mitochondria and the thylakoid lumen of chloroplasts are evolutionary descendents of the periplasmic space of bacteria. Presumably due to their common ancestry, the active oxidation of cysteinyl thiols is used in these three compartments in order to stabilize protein folding or to regulate protein function. In contrast, compartments of the eukaryotic cell which developed from the bacterial cytosol maintain cysteine residues largely reduced. Whereas the oxidizing machinery of bacteria is well characterized, that of mitochondria was only recently discovered and that of thylakoids still awaits to be identified. In mitochondria, protein oxidation is mediated by the sulfhydryl oxidase Erv1 which is highly conserved among eukaryotes. Erv1 oxidizes its substrate protein Mia40 which serves as an import receptor for proteins destined for the intermembrane space. This review summarizes the current knowledge on the mitochondrial disulfide relay system and compares its features to those of the periplasm and the thylakoid lumen. Although the sulfhydryl oxidases in the intermembrane space, Erv1, and the bacterial periplasm, DsbA–DsbB, share key structural features their primary sequence is not related and the evolutionary origin of Erv1 is unclear. On the basis of phylogenetic analyses of Erv1 sequences we propose that the mitochondrial oxidation machinery originated from a lateral gene transfer from flavobacteria-like prokaryotes early in eukaryotic evolution.
Keywords: Disulfide relay; DsbA–DsbB; Erv1; Intermembrane space; Oxidative folding; Periplasm; Thylakoids;

Assembly of mitochondrial complex I and defects in disease by Michael Lazarou; David R. Thorburn; Michael T. Ryan; Matthew McKenzie (78-88).
Isolated complex I deficiency is the most common cause of respiratory chain dysfunction. Defects in human complex I result in energy generation disorders and they are also implicated in neurodegenerative disease and altered apoptotic signaling. Complex I dysfunction often occurs as a result of its impaired assembly. The assembly process of complex I is poorly understood, complicated by the fact that in mammals, it is composed of 45 different subunits and is regulated by both nuclear and mitochondrial genomes. However, in recent years we have gained new insights into complex I biogenesis and a number of assembly factors involved in this process have also been identified. In most cases, these factors have been discovered through their gene mutations that lead to specific complex I defects and result in mitochondrial disease. Here we review how complex I is assembled and the factors required to mediate this process.
Keywords: Complex I; Membrane protein; Mitochondria; Oxidative phosphorylation; Respiratory chain;

Biogenesis of the yeast cytochrome bc 1 complex by Vincenzo Zara; Laura Conte; Bernard L. Trumpower (89-96).
The mitochondrial respiratory chain is composed of four different protein complexes that cooperate in electron transfer and proton pumping across the inner mitochondrial membrane. The cytochrome bc 1 complex, or complex III, is a component of the mitochondrial respiratory chain. This review will focus on the biogenesis of the bc 1 complex in the mitochondria of the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae. In wild type yeast mitochondrial membranes the major part of the cytochrome bc 1 complex was found in association with one or two copies of the cytochrome c oxidase complex. The analysis of several yeast mutant strains in which single genes or pairs of genes encoding bc 1 subunits had been deleted revealed the presence of a common set of bc 1 sub-complexes. These sub-complexes are represented by the central core of the bc 1 complex, consisting of cytochrome b bound to subunit 7 and subunit 8, by the two core proteins associated with each other, by the Rieske protein associated with subunit 9, and by those deriving from the unexpected interaction of each of the two core proteins with cytochrome c 1. Furthermore, a higher molecular mass sub-complex is that composed of cytochrome b, cytochrome c 1, core protein 1 and 2, subunit 6, subunit 7 and subunit 8. The identification and characterization of all these sub-complexes may help in defining the steps and the molecular events leading to bc 1 assembly in yeast mitochondria.
Keywords: Mitochondria; Respiratory chain; Cytochrome bc 1 complex; Cytochrome bc 1 assembly; Yeast deletion mutants; Chaperones;

Suppression mechanisms of COX assembly defects in yeast and human: Insights into the COX assembly process by Antoni Barrientos; Karine Gouget; Darryl Horn; Ileana C. Soto; Flavia Fontanesi (97-107).
Eukaryotic cytochrome c oxidase (COX) is the terminal enzyme of the mitochondrial respiratory chain. COX is a multimeric enzyme formed by subunits of dual genetic origin whose assembly is intricate and highly regulated. In addition to the structural subunits, a large number of accessory factors are required to build the holoenzyme. The function of these factors is required in all stages of the assembly process. They are relevant to human health because devastating human disorders have been associated with mutations in nuclear genes encoding conserved COX assembly factors. The study of yeast strains and human cell lines from patients carrying mutations in structural subunits and COX assembly factors has been invaluable to attain the current state of knowledge, even if still fragmentary, of the COX assembly process. After the identification of the genes involved, the isolation and characterization of genetic and metabolic suppressors of COX assembly defects, reviewed here, have become a profitable strategy to gain insight into their functions and the pathways in which they operate. Additionally, they have the potential to provide useful information for devising therapeutic approaches to combat human disorders associated with COX deficiency.
Keywords: Mitochondria; Cytochrome c oxidase; Suppression; Mitochondrial disorder; COX assembly;

Assembly of F0 in Saccharomyces cerevisiae by Malgorzata Rak; Xiaomei Zeng; Jean-Jacques Brière; Alexander Tzagoloff (108-116).
Respiratory deficient mutants of Saccharomyces cerevisiae have been instrumental in identifying an increasing number of nuclear gene products that promote pre- and post-translational steps of the pathway responsible for biogenesis of the mitochondrial ATP synthase. In this article we have attempted to marshal current information about the functions of such accessory factors and the roles they play in expression and assembly of the mitochondrially encoded subunits of the ATP synthase. We also discuss evidence that the ATP synthase may be built up from three separate modules corresponding to the F1 ATPase, the stator and F0.
Keywords: Mitochondria; ATP synthase; F0; F1; Biogenesis; ATPase; Saccharomyces cerevisiae;

The liquid state model that envisions respiratory chain complexes diffusing freely in the membrane is increasingly challenged by reports of supramolecular organization of the complexes in the mitochondrial inner membrane. Supercomplexes of complex III with complex I and/or IV can be isolated after solubilisation with mild detergents like digitonin. Electron microscopic studies have shown that these have a distinct architecture and are not random aggregates. A 3D reconstruction of a I1III2IV1 supercomplex shows that the ubiquinone and cytochrome c binding sites of the individual complexes are facing each other, suggesting a role in substrate channelling. Formation of supercomplexes plays a role in the assembly and stability of the complexes, suggesting that the supercomplexes are the functional state of the respiratory chain. Furthermore, a supramolecular organisation of ATP synthases has been observed in mitochondria, where ATP synthase is organised in dimer rows. Dimers can be isolated by mild detergent extraction and recent electron microscopic studies have shown that the membrane domains of the two partners in the dimer are at an angle to each other, indicating that in vivo the dimers would cause the membrane to bend. The suggested role in crista formation is supported by the observation of rows of ATP synthase dimers in the most curved parts of the cristae. Together these observations show that the mitochondrial inner membrane is highly organised and that the molecular events leading to ATP synthesis are carefully coordinated.
Keywords: Respiratory chain; Mitochondria; Supercomplexes; Protein structure; Membrane proteins; Electron transfer;

Biochemical requirements for the maturation of mitochondrial c-type cytochromes by Patrice Hamel; Vincent Corvest; Philippe Giegé; Géraldine Bonnard (125-138).
Cytochromes c are metalloproteins that function in electron transfer reactions and contain a heme moiety covalently attached via thioether linkages between the co-factor and a CXXCH motif in the protein. Covalent attachment of the heme group occurs on the positive side of all energy-transducing membranes (bacterial periplasm, mitochondrial intermembrane space and thylakoid lumen) and requires minimally: 1) synthesis and translocation of the apocytochromes c and heme across at least one biological membrane, 2) reduction of apocytochromes c and heme and maintenance under a reduced form prior to 3) catalysis of the heme attachment reaction. Surprisingly, the conversion of apoforms of cytochromes c to their respective holoforms occurs through at least three different pathways (systems I, II and III). In this review, we detail the assembly process of soluble cytochrome c and membrane-bound cytochrome c 1, the only two mitochondrial c-type cytochromes that function in respiration. Mitochondrial c-type cytochromes are matured in the intermembrane space via the system I or system III pathway, an intriguing finding considering that the biochemical requirements for cytochrome c maturation are believed to be common regardless of the energy-transducing membrane under study.
Keywords: Mitochondria; Cytochrome c assembly; Thioether linkage; Heme transport; Heme lyase; Redox chemistry;

Redox regulation of protein folding in the mitochondrial intermembrane space by Carla M. Koehler; Heather L. Tienson (139-145).
Protein translocation pathways to the mitochondrial matrix and inner membrane have been well characterized. However, translocation into the intermembrane space, which was thought to be simply a modification of the traditional translocation pathways, is complex. The mechanism by which a subset of intermembrane space proteins, those with disulfide bonds, are translocated has been largely unknown until recently. Specifically, the intermembrane space proteins with disulfide bonds are imported via the mitochondrial intermembrane space assembly (MIA) pathway. Substrates are imported via a disulfide exchange relay with two components Mia40 and Erv1. This new breakthrough has resulted in novel concepts for assembly of proteins in the intermembrane space, suggesting that this compartment may be similar to that of the endoplasmic reticulum and the prokaryotic periplasm. As a better understanding of this pathway emerges, new paradigms for thiol-disulfide exchange mechanisms may be developed. Given that the intermembrane space is important for disease processes including apoptosis and neurodegeneration, new roles in regulation by oxidation–reduction chemistry seem likely to be relevant.
Keywords: Redox; Mitochondrion; Disulfide; Intermembrane space; Protein translocation; Protein import;

“Pulling the plug” on cellular copper: The role of mitochondria in copper export by Scot C. Leary; Dennis R. Winge; Paul A. Cobine (146-153).
Mitochondria contain two enzymes, Cu,Zn superoxide dismutase (Sod1) and cytochrome c oxidase (CcO), that require copper as a cofactor for their biological activity. The copper used for their metallation originates from a conserved, bioactive pool contained within the mitochondrial matrix, the size of which changes in response to either genetic or pharmacological manipulation of cellular copper status. Its dynamic nature implies molecular mechanisms exist that functionally couple mitochondrial copper handling with other, extramitochondrial copper trafficking pathways. The recent finding that mitochondrial proteins with established roles in CcO assembly can also effect changes in cellular copper levels by modulating copper efflux from the cell supports a mechanistic link between organellar and cellular copper metabolism. However, the proteins and molecular mechanisms that link trafficking of copper to and from the organelle with other cellular copper trafficking pathways are unknown. This review documents our current understanding of copper trafficking to, and within, the mitochondrion for metallation of CcO and Sod1; the pathways by which the two copper centers in CcO are formed; and, the interconnections between mitochondrial function and the regulation of cellular copper homeostasis.
Keywords: Mitochondria; Superoxide dismutase; Cytochrome c oxidase; SCO proteins; Copper trafficking;

Positioning mitochondrial plasticity within cellular signaling cascades by Vincent Soubannier; Heidi M. McBride (154-170).
Mitochondria evolved from alpha-proteobacteria captured within a host between two and three billion years ago. This origin resulted in the formation of a double-layered organelle resulting in four distinct sub-compartments: the outer membrane, the intermembrane space, the inner membrane and the matrix. The inner membrane is organized in cristae, harboring the respiratory chain and ATP synthase complexes responsible of the oxidative phosphorylation, the main energy-generating system of the cell. It is generally considered that the ultrastructure of the inner membrane provides a large variety of morphologies that facilitate metabolic output. This classical view of mitochondria as bean-shaped organelles was static until in the last decade when new imaging studies and genetic screens provided a more accurate description of a dynamic mitochondrial reticulum that fuse and divide continuously. Since then significant findings have been made in the study of machineries responsible for fusion, fission and motility, however the mechanisms and signals that regulate mitochondrial dynamics are only beginning to emerge. A growing body of evidence indicates that metabolic and cellular signals influence mitochondrial dynamics, leading to a new understanding of how changes in mitochondrial shape can have a profound impact on the functional output of the organelle. The mechanisms that regulate mitochondrial morphology are incompletely understood, but evidence to date suggests that the morphology machinery is modulated through the use of post-translational modifications, including nucleotide-binding proteins, phosphorylation, ubiquitination, SUMOylation, and changes in the lipid environment. This review focuses on the molecular switches that control mitochondrial dynamics and the integration of mitochondrial morphology within cellular signaling cascades.
Keywords: Mitochondrial dynamics; Fusion; Fission; Signaling; Motility; Cristae; Cell cycle; Apoptosis; Metabolism; Immunity; mTOR; Disease;

Mouse models of oxidative phosphorylation defects: Powerful tools to study the pathobiology of mitochondrial diseases by Alessandra Torraco; Francisca Diaz; Uma D. Vempati; Carlos T. Moraes (171-180).
Defects in the oxidative phosphorylation system (OXPHOS) are responsible for a group of extremely heterogeneous and pleiotropic pathologies commonly known as mitochondrial diseases. Although many mutations have been found to be responsible for OXPHOS defects, their pathogenetic mechanisms are still poorly understood. An important contribution to investigate the in vivo function of several mitochondrial proteins and their role in mitochondrial dysfunction, has been provided by mouse models. Thanks to their genetic and physiologic similarity to humans, mouse models represent a powerful tool to investigate the impact of pathological mutations on metabolic pathways. In this review we discuss the main mouse models of mitochondrial disease developed, focusing on the ones that directly affect the OXPHOS system.
Keywords: Mitochondria; Mitochondrial disease; Knockout mouse; Knock-in mouse; Conditional knockout mouse;

Respiratory-chain diseases related to complex III deficiency by Paule Bénit; Sophie Lebon; Pierre Rustin (181-185).
Complex III deficiencies are among the least common respiratory-chain abnormalities identified to date in humans. Nevertheless, their unexplained tissue specificity and broad clinical spectrum make them a valuable model for investigating respiratory-chain diseases. In this review, we briefly discuss the properties of complex III and the assay conditions relevant to the screening of high-risk patients. We then review the most recent advances in the field, which include the characterization of several disease genes and of the corresponding clinical presentations. Finally, we discuss genetic and biochemical aspects that may help to understand complex III-associated diseases.
Keywords: Human OXPHOS disease; Mitochondria; Complex III; BC1 complex; BCS1L; QP-C; Cytochrome b;

Mitochondrial ATP synthase disorders: Molecular mechanisms and the quest for curative therapeutic approaches by Roza Kucharczyk; Michael Zick; Maïlis Bietenhader; Malgorzata Rak; Elodie Couplan; Marc Blondel; Stéphane-Duvezin Caubet; Jean-Paul di Rago (186-199).
In mammals, the majority of cellular ATP is produced by the mitochondrial F1FO-ATP synthase through an elaborate catalytic mechanism. While most subunits of this enzymatic complex are encoded by the nuclear genome, a few essential components are encoded in the mitochondrial genome. The biogenesis of this multi-subunit enzyme is a sophisticated multi-step process that is regulated on levels of transcription, translation and assembly. Defects that result in diminished abundance or functional impairment of the F1FO-ATP synthase can cause a variety of severe neuromuscular disorders. Underlying mutations have been identified in both the nuclear and the mitochondrial DNA. The pathogenic mechanisms are only partially understood. Currently, the therapeutic options are extremely limited. Alternative methods of treatment have however been proposed, but still encounter several technical difficulties. The application of novel scientific approaches promises to deepen our understanding of the molecular mechanisms of the ATP synthase, unravel novel therapeutic pathways and improve the unfortunate situation of the patients suffering from such diseases.
Keywords: ATP synthase; Mitochondrial diseases; Drug screening; Yeast; Mitochondrial biogenesis; NARP and MILS syndromes;

Assembly of the oxidative phosphorylation system in humans: What we have learned by studying its defects by Erika Fernández-Vizarra; Valeria Tiranti; Massimo Zeviani (200-211).
Assembly of the oxidative phosphorylation (OXPHOS) system in the mitochondrial inner membrane is an intricate process in which many factors must interact. The OXPHOS system is composed of four respiratory chain complexes, which are responsible for electron transport and generation of the proton gradient in the mitochondrial intermembrane space, and of the ATP synthase that uses this proton gradient to produce ATP. Mitochondrial human disorders are caused by dysfunction of the OXPHOS system, and many of them are associated with altered assembly of one or more components of the OXPHOS system. The study of assembly defects in patients has been useful in unraveling and/or gaining a complete understanding of the processes by which these large multimeric complexes are formed. We review here current knowledge of the biogenesis of OXPHOS complexes based on investigation of the corresponding disorders.
Keywords: Oxidative phosphorylation; OXPHOS; Mitochondrial respiratory chain; Respiratory chain complex; Assembly; Mitochondrial disorder; Mitochondrial DNA; Mitochondrial inner membrane; Electron transfer chain;

Cellular functions of cardiolipin in yeast by Amit S. Joshi; Jingming Zhou; Vishal M. Gohil; Shuliang Chen; Miriam L. Greenberg (212-218).
Cardiolipin (CL), the signature lipid of mitochondria, plays a critical role in mitochondrial function and biogenesis. The availability of yeast mutants blocked in CL synthesis has facilitated studies of the biological role of this lipid. Perturbation of CL synthesis leads to growth defects not only during respiratory growth but also under conditions in which respiration is not essential. CL was shown to play a role in mitochondrial protein import, cell wall biogenesis, aging and apoptosis, ceramide synthesis, and translation of electron transport chain components. The genetic disorder Barth syndrome (BTHS) is caused by mutations in the tafazzin gene resulting in decreased total CL levels, accumulation of monolysocardiolipin (MLCL), and decreased unsaturated fatty acyl species of CL. The variation in clinical presentation of BTHS indicates that other physiological factors play a significant role in modifying the phenotype resulting from tafazzin deficiency. Elucidating the functions of CL is expected to shed light on the role of this important lipid in BTHS and other disorders of mitochondrial dysfunction.
Keywords: Cardiolipin; Barth syndrome; Protein import; Aging; Mitochondrial bioenergetics and biogenesi; Cell wall;