bims-cytox1 Biomed News
on Cytochrome oxidase subunit 1
Issue of 2021‒06‒20
three papers selected by
Gavin McStay
Staffordshire University

  1. Sci Rep. 2021 Jun 16. 11(1): 12641
      NADH:ubiquinone oxidoreductase (respiratory complex I) plays a major role in energy metabolism by coupling electron transfer from NADH to quinone with proton translocation across the membrane. Complex I deficiencies were found to be the most common source of human mitochondrial dysfunction that manifest in a wide variety of neurodegenerative diseases. Seven subunits of human complex I are encoded by mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) that carry an unexpectedly large number of mutations discovered in mitochondria from patients' tissues. However, whether or how these genetic aberrations affect complex I at a molecular level is unknown. Here, we used Escherichia coli as a model system to biochemically characterize two mutations that were found in mtDNA of patients. The V253AMT-ND5 mutation completely disturbed the assembly of complex I, while the mutation D199GMT-ND1 led to the assembly of a stable complex capable to catalyze redox-driven proton translocation. However, the latter mutation perturbs quinone reduction leading to a diminished activity. D199MT-ND1 is part of a cluster of charged amino acid residues that are suggested to be important for efficient coupling of quinone reduction and proton translocation. A mechanism considering the role of D199MT-ND1 for energy conservation in complex I is discussed.
  2. Mol Genet Metab. 2021 Jun 10. pii: S1096-7192(21)00721-6. [Epub ahead of print]
      Cardiac dysfunction is a common phenotypic manifestation of primary mitochondrial disease with multiple nuclear and mitochondrial DNA pathogenic variants as a cause, including disorders of mitochondrial translation. To date, five patients have been described with pathogenic variants in MRPL44, encoding the ml44 protein which is part of the large subunit of the mitochondrial ribosome (mitoribosome). Three presented as infants with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, mild lactic acidosis, and easy fatigue and muscle weakness, whereas two presented in adolescence with myopathy and neurological symptoms. We describe two infants who presented with cardiomyopathy from the neonatal period, failure to thrive, hypoglycemia and in one infant lactic acidosis. A decompensation of the cardiac function in the first year resulted in demise. Exome sequencing identified compound heterozygous variants in the MRPL44 gene including the known pathogenic variant c.467 T > G and two novel pathogenic variants. We document a combined respiratory chain enzyme deficiency with emphasis on complex I and IV, affecting heart muscle tissue more than skeletal muscle or fibroblasts. We show this to be caused by reduced mitochondrial DNA encoded protein synthesis affecting all subunits, and resulting in dysfunction of complex I and IV assembly. The degree of oxidative phosphorylation dysfunction correlated with the impairment of mitochondrial protein synthesis due to different pathogenic variants. These functional studies allow for improved understanding of the pathogenesis of MRPL44-associated mitochondrial disorder.
    Keywords:  Cardiomyopathy; Combined deficiency; Genetic cause; Mitochondrial ribosome; Mitochondrial translation
  3. Nat Commun. 2021 06 16. 12(1): 3671
      Mitochondrial ribosomes are specialized for the synthesis of membrane proteins responsible for oxidative phosphorylation. Mammalian mitoribosomes have diverged considerably from the ancestral bacterial ribosomes and feature dramatically reduced ribosomal RNAs. The structural basis of the mammalian mitochondrial ribosome assembly is currently not well understood. Here we present eight distinct assembly intermediates of the human large mitoribosomal subunit involving seven assembly factors. We discover that the NSUN4-MTERF4 dimer plays a critical role in the process by stabilizing the 16S rRNA in a conformation that exposes the functionally important regions of rRNA for modification by the MRM2 methyltransferase and quality control interactions with the conserved mitochondrial GTPase MTG2 that contacts the sarcin-ricin loop and the immature active site. The successive action of these factors leads to the formation of the peptidyl transferase active site of the mitoribosome and the folding of the surrounding rRNA regions responsible for interactions with tRNAs and the small ribosomal subunit.