bims-cytox1 Biomed News
on Cytochrome oxidase subunit 1
Issue of 2020‒07‒26
two papers selected by
Gavin McStay
Staffordshire University


  1. Int J Mol Sci. 2020 Jul 18. pii: E5083. [Epub ahead of print]21(14):
    Su X, Dautant A, Godard F, Bouhier M, Zoladek T, Kucharczyk R, di Rago JP, Tribouillard-Tanvier D.
      Probing the pathogenicity and functional consequences of mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) mutations from patient's cells and tissues is difficult due to genetic heteroplasmy (co-existence of wild type and mutated mtDNA in cells), occurrence of numerous mtDNA polymorphisms, and absence of methods for genetically transforming human mitochondria. Owing to its good fermenting capacity that enables survival to loss-of-function mtDNA mutations, its amenability to mitochondrial genome manipulation, and lack of heteroplasmy, Saccharomyces cerevisiae is an excellent model for studying and resolving the molecular bases of human diseases linked to mtDNA in a controlled genetic background. Using this model, we previously showed that a pathogenic mutation in mitochondrial ATP6 gene (m.9191T>C), that converts a highly conserved leucine residue into proline in human ATP synthase subunit a (aL222P), severely compromises the assembly of yeast ATP synthase and reduces by 90% the rate of mitochondrial ATP synthesis. Herein, we report the isolation of intragenic suppressors of this mutation. In light of recently described high resolution structures of ATP synthase, the results indicate that the m.9191T>C mutation disrupts a four α-helix bundle in subunit a and that the leucine residue it targets indirectly optimizes proton conduction through the membrane domain of ATP synthase.
    Keywords:  ATP synthase; ATP6 gene; C; genetic suppressors; m.9191T> mitochondrial DNA mutation; mitochondrial disease; proton conduction; yeast
    DOI:  https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms21145083
  2. J Physiol. 2020 Jul 25.
    Rudler DL, Hughes LA, Viola HM, Hool LC, Rackham O, Filipovska A.
      The evolutionary acquisition of mitochondria has given rise to the diversity of eukaryotic life. Mitochondria have retained their ancestral α-proteobacterial traits through the maintenance of double membranes and their own circular genome that varies in size, ranging from very large in plants to the smallest in animals and their parasites. The mitochondrial genome encodes essential genes for protein synthesis and has to coordinate its expression with the nuclear genome from which it sources most of the proteins required for mitochondrial biogenesis and function. The mitochondrial protein synthesis machinery is unique because it is encoded by both the nuclear and mitochondrial genome thereby requiring tight regulation to produce the respiratory complexes that drive oxidative phosphorylation for energy production. The fidelity and coordination of mitochondrial protein synthesis are essential for ATP production. Here we compare and contrast the mitochondrial translation mechanisms in mammals and fungi to bacteria and reveal that their diverse regulation can have unusual impacts on the health and disease of these organisms. We highlight that in mammals the rate of protein synthesis is more important than the fidelity of translation, enabling coordinated biogenesis of the mitochondrial respiratory chain with respiratory chain proteins synthesised by cytoplasmic ribosomes. Changes in mitochondrial protein fidelity can trigger the activation of the diverse cellular signalling networks in fungi and mammals to combat dysfunction in energy conservation. The physiological consequences of altered fidelity of protein synthesis can range from liver regeneration to the onset and development of cardiomyopathy. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
    Keywords:  mitochondria; protein synthesis; ribosomes
    DOI:  https://doi.org/10.1113/JP280359