Faithful replication and propagation of mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) is critical for cellular respiration. Molecular chaperones, ubiquitous proteins involved in protein folding and remodeling of protein complexes, have been implicated in mtDNA transactions. In particular, cells lacking Mdj1, an Hsp40 co-chaperone of Hsp70 in the mitochondrial matrix, do not maintain functional mtDNA. Here we report that the great majority of Mdj1 is associated with nucleoids, DNA-protein complexes that are the functional unit of mtDNA transactions. Underscoring the importance of Hsp70 chaperone activity in the maintenance of mtDNA, an Mdj1 variant having an alteration in the Hsp70-interacting J-domain does not maintain mtDNA. However, a J-domain containing fragment expressed at the level that Mdj1 is normally present is not competent to maintain mtDNA, suggesting a function of Mdj1 beyond that carried out by its J-domain. Nevertheless, loss of mtDNA function upon Mdj1 depletion is retarded when the J-domain, is overexpressed. Analysis of Mdj1 variants revealed a correlation between nucleoid association and DNA maintenance activity, suggesting that localization is functionally important. We found that Mdj1 has DNA binding activity and that variants retaining DNA-binding activity also retained nucleoid association. Together, our results are consistent with a model in which Mdj1, tethered to the nucleoid via DNA binding, thus driving a high local concentration of the Hsp70 machinery, is important for faithful DNA maintenance and propagation.
•J-protein co-chaperone Mdj1 is critical for maintenance of functional mtDNA.•Majority of Mdj1 localizes to the nucleoid, likely via interaction with mtDNA.•Nucleoid localization of Mdj1 is necessary for mtDNA maintenance.•Function of Mdj1 in mtDNA maintenance requires cooperation with Hsp70.
J-protein; Molecular chaperone; DNA transactions; Yeast
The ubiquitous mitochondrial J-protein Jac1, called HscB in Escherichia coli, and its partner Hsp70 play a critical role in the transfer of Fe-S clusters from the scaffold protein Isu to recipient proteins. Biochemical results from eukaryotic and prokaryotic systems indicate that formation of the Jac1-Isu complex is important for both targeting of the Isu for Hsp70 binding and stimulation of Hsp70’s ATPase activity. However, in apparent contradiction, we previously reported that an 8 fold decrease in Jac1’s affinity for Isu1 is well tolerated in vivo, raising the question as to whether the Jac1:Isu interaction actually plays an important biological role. Here we report the determination of the structure of Jac1 from Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Taking advantage of this information and recently published data from the homologous bacterial system, a total of eight surface exposed residues were determined to play a role in Isu binding, as assessed by a set of biochemical assays. A variant having alanines substituted for these eight residues was unable to support growth of a jac1-Δ strain. However, replacement of three residues caused partial loss of function, resulting in a significant decrease in the Jac1:Isu1 interaction, a slow growth phenotype and a reduction in the activity of Fe-S cluster containing enzymes. Thus, we conclude that the Jac1:Isu1 interaction plays an indispensible role in the essential process of mitochondrial Fe-S cluster biogenesis.
Mitochondria are essential organelles required for a number of key cellular processes. As most mitochondrial proteins are nuclear encoded, their efficient translocation into the organelle is critical. Transport of proteins across the inner membrane is driven by a multicomponent, matrix-localized “import motor,” which is based on the activity of the molecular chaperone Hsp70 and a J-protein cochaperone. In Saccharomyces cerevisiae, two paralogous J-proteins, Pam18 and Mdj2, can form the import motor. Both contain transmembrane and matrix domains, with Pam18 having an additional intermembrane space (IMS) domain. Evolutionary analyses revealed that the origin of the IMS domain of S. cerevisiae Pam18 coincides with a gene duplication event that generated the PAM18/MDJ2 gene pair. The duplication event and origin of the Pam18 IMS domain occurred at the relatively ancient divergence of the fungal subphylum Saccharomycotina. The timing of the duplication event also corresponds with a number of additional functional changes related to mitochondrial function and respiration. Physiological and genetic studies revealed that the IMS domain of Pam18 is required for efficient growth under anaerobic conditions, even though it is dispensable when oxygen is present. Thus, the gene duplication was beneficial for growth capacity under particular environmental conditions as well as diversification of the import motor components.
J-protein; mitochondria; protein translocation; Hsp70; gene duplication
Pam18, the J-protein cochaperone of the Hsp70-based mitochondrial import motor, forms a heterodimer with the structurally related protein Pam16. Genetic and biochemical studies suggest a critical role of this interaction in maintaining Pam18's association with the translocon rather than its previously proposed regulatory role.
The heat-shock protein 70 (Hsp70)–based import motor, associated with the translocon on the matrix side of the mitochondrial inner membrane, drives translocation of proteins via cycles of binding and release. Stimulation of Hsp70's ATPase activity by the translocon-associated J-protein Pam18 is critical for this process. Pam18 forms a heterodimer with the structurally related protein Pam16, via their J-type domains. This interaction has been proposed to perform a critical regulatory function, inhibiting the ATPase stimulatory activity of Pam18. Using biochemical and genetic assays, we tested this hypothesis by assessing the in vivo function of Pam18 variants having altered abilities to stimulate Hsp70's ATPase activity. The observed pattern of genetic interactions was opposite from that predicted if the heterodimer serves an inhibitory function; instead the pattern was consistent with that of mutations known to cause reduction in the stability of the heterodimer. Analysis of a previously uncharacterized region of Pam16 revealed its requirement for formation of an active Pam18:Pam16 complex able to stimulate Hsp70's ATPase activity. Together, our data are consistent with the idea that Pam18 and Pam16 form a stable heterodimer and that the critical role of the Pam18:Pam16 interaction is the physical tethering of Pam18 to the translocon via its interaction with Pam16.
Hsp70s, ubiquitous molecular chaperones, function in a myriad of biological processes, modulating polypeptides’ folding, degradation and translocation across membranes, as well as protein-protein interactions. This multitude of roles is not easily reconciled with the near conformity of biochemical activity of Hsp70s, an ATP-dependent client protein binding/release cycle. Much of the functional diversity of Hsp70s is driven by a diverse class of cofactors, J-proteins (also called Hsp40s). Often, multiple J-proteins function with a single Hsp70. Some target Hsp70 activity to clients at precise locations in cells; others bind client proteins directly, thereby delivering specific clients to Hsp70, directly determining their fate.
Yeast prions are heritable protein-based genetic elements which rely on molecular chaperone proteins for stable transmission to cell progeny. Within the past few years, five new prions have been validated and 18 additional putative prions identified in Saccharomyces cerevisiae. The exploration of the physical and biological properties of these “nouveau prions” has begun to reveal the extent of prion diversity in yeast. We recently reported that one such prion, [SWI+], differs from the best studied, archetypal prion [PSI+] in several significant ways.1 Notably, [SWI+] is highly sensitive to alterations in Hsp70 system chaperone activity and is lost upon growth at elevated temperatures. In that report we briefly noted a correlation amongst prions regarding amino acid composition, seed number and sensitivity to the activity of the Hsp70 chaperone system. Here we extend that analysis and put forth the idea that [SWI+] may be representative of a class of asparagine-rich yeast prions which also includes [URE3], [MOT3+] and [ISP+], distinct from the glutamine-rich prions such as [PSI+] and [RNQ+]. While much work remains, it is apparent that our understanding of the extent of the diversity of prion characteristics is in its infancy.
Sis1; Hsp40; chromatin remodeling; Swi1; Ssa; heat-shock; protein misfolding; cell stress; Hsp 104; PIN
Frataxin is a highly conserved mitochondrial protein whose deficiency in humans results in Friedreich’s ataxia (FRDA), an autosomal recessive disorder characterized by progressive ataxia and cardiomyopathy. Although its cellular function is still not fully clear, the fact that frataxin plays a crucial role in Fe-S assembly on the scaffold protein Isu is well accepted. Here we report the characterisation of eight frataxin variants having alterations on two putative functional regions – the α1/β1 acidic ridge and the conserved β-sheet surface. We report that frataxin iron binding capacity is quite robust: even when five of the most conserved residues from the putative iron binding region are altered, at least 2 iron atoms per monomer can be bound, although with decreased affinity. Furthermore, we conclude that the acidic ridge is designed to favour function over stability. The negative charges have a functional role, but at the same time significantly impair frataxin’s stability. Removing five of those charges results in a thermal stabilization of ~24°C and reduces the inherent conformational plasticity. Alterations on the conserved β-sheet residues have only a modest impact on the protein stability, highlighting the functional importance of residues 122-124.
yeast frataxin; protein folding; metallochaperone; binding affinities; protein plasticity
The yeast prion [SWI+], formed of heritable amyloid aggregates of the Swi1 protein, results in a partial loss of function of the SWI/SNF chromatin-remodeling complex, required for the regulation of a diverse set of genes. Our genetic analysis revealed that [SWI+] propagation is highly dependent upon the action of members of the Hsp70 molecular chaperone system, specifically the Hsp70 Ssa, two of its J-protein co-chaperones, Sis1 and Ydj1, and the nucleotide exchange factors of the Hsp110 family (Sse1/2). Notably, while all yeast prions tested thus far require Sis1, [SWI+] is the only one known to require the activity of Ydj1, the most abundant J-protein in yeast. The C-terminal region of Ydj1, which contains the client protein interaction domain, is required for [SWI+] propagation. However, Ydj1 is not unique in this regard, as another, closely related J-protein, Apj1, can substitute for it when expressed at a level approaching that of Ydj1. While dependent upon Ydj1 and Sis1 for propagation, [SWI+] is also highly sensitive to overexpression of both J-proteins. However, this increased prion-loss requires only the highly conserved 70 amino acid J-domain, which serves to stimulate the ATPase activity of Hsp70 and thus to stabilize its interaction with client protein. Overexpression of the J-domain from Sis1, Ydj1, or Apj1 is sufficient to destabilize [SWI+]. In addition, [SWI+] is lost upon overexpression of Sse nucleotide exchange factors, which act to destabilize Hsp70's interaction with client proteins. Given the plethora of genes affected by the activity of the SWI/SNF chromatin-remodeling complex, it is possible that this sensitivity of [SWI+] to the activity of Hsp70 chaperone machinery may serve a regulatory role, keeping this prion in an easily-lost, meta-stable state. Such sensitivity may provide a means to reach an optimal balance of phenotypic diversity within a cell population to better adapt to stressful environments.
Yeast prions are heritable genetic elements, formed spontaneously by aggregation of a single protein. Prions can thus generate diverse phenotypes in a dominant, non-Mendelian fashion, without a corresponding change in chromosomal gene structure. Since the phenotypes caused by the presence of a prion are thought to affect the ability of cells to survive under different environmental conditions, those that have global effects on cell physiology are of particular interest. Here we report the results of a study of one such prion, [SWI+], formed by a component of the SWI/SNF chromatin-remodeling complex, which is required for the regulation of a diverse set of genes. We found that, compared to previously well-studied prions, [SWI+] is highly sensitive to changes in the activities of molecular chaperones, particularly components of the Hsp70 machinery. Both under- and over-expression of components of this system initiated rapid loss of the prion from the cell population. Since expression of molecular chaperones, often known as heat shock proteins, are known to vary under diverse environmental conditions, such “chaperone sensitivity” may allow alteration of traits that under particular environmental conditions convey a selective advantage and may be a common characteristic of prions formed from proteins involved in global gene regulation.
J proteins are structurally diverse, obligatory cochaperones of Hsp70s, each with a highly conserved J domain that plays a critical role in the stimulation of Hsp70's ATPase activity. The essential protein, Cwc23, is one of 13 J proteins found in the cytosol and/or nucleus of Saccharomyces cerevisiae. We report that a partial loss-of-function CWC23 mutant has severe, global defects in pre-mRNA splicing. This mutation leads to accumulation of the excised, lariat form of the intron, as well as unspliced pre-mRNA, suggesting a role for Cwc23 in spliceosome disassembly. Such a role is further supported by the observation that this mutation results in reduced interaction between Cwc23 and Ntr1 (SPP382), a known component of the disassembly pathway. However, Cwc23 is a very atypical J protein. Its J domain, although functional, is dispensable for both cell viability and pre-mRNA splicing. Nevertheless, strong genetic interactions were uncovered between point mutations encoding alterations in Cwc23's J domain and either Ntr1 or Prp43, a DExD/H-box helicase essential for spliceosome disassembly. These genetic interactions suggest that Hsp70-based chaperone machinery does play a role in the disassembly process. Cwc23 provides a unique example of a J protein; its partnership with Hsp70 plays an auxiliary, rather than a central, role in its essential cellular function.
Cytosolic chaperones are a diverse group of ubiquitous proteins that play central roles in multiple processes within the cell, including protein translation, folding, intracellular trafficking, and quality control. These cellular proteins have also been implicated in the replication of numerous viruses, although the full extent of their involvement in viral replication is unknown. We have previously shown that the heat shock protein 40 (hsp40) chaperone encoded by the yeast YDJ1 gene facilitates RNA replication of flock house virus (FHV), a well-studied and versatile positive-sense RNA model virus. To further explore the roles of chaperones in FHV replication, we examined a panel of 30 yeast strains with single deletions of cytosolic proteins that have known or hypothesized chaperone activity. We found that the majority of cytosolic chaperone deletions had no impact on FHV RNA accumulation, with the notable exception of J-domain-containing hsp40 chaperones, where deletion of APJ1 reduced FHV RNA accumulation by 60%, while deletion of ZUO1, JJJ1, or JJJ2 markedly increased FHV RNA accumulation, by 4- to 40-fold. Further studies using cross complementation and double-deletion strains revealed that the contrasting effects of J domain proteins were reproduced by altering expression of the major cytosolic hsp70s encoded by the SSA and SSB families and were mediated in part by divergent effects on FHV RNA polymerase synthesis. These results identify hsp70 chaperones as critical regulators of FHV RNA replication and indicate that cellular chaperones can have both positive and negative regulatory effects on virus replication.
A yeast-based small molecule screen identifies a novel activator of human HSF1 and protein chaperone expression and which appears to alleviate the toxicity of protein misfolding diseases.
Neurodegenerative diseases such as Huntington disease are devastating disorders with no therapeutic approaches to ameliorate the underlying protein misfolding defect inherent to poly-glutamine (polyQ) proteins. Given the mounting evidence that elevated levels of protein chaperones suppress polyQ protein misfolding, the master regulator of protein chaperone gene transcription, HSF1, is an attractive target for small molecule intervention. We describe a humanized yeast-based high-throughput screen to identify small molecule activators of human HSF1. This screen is insensitive to previously characterized activators of the heat shock response that have undesirable proteotoxic activity or that inhibit Hsp90, the central chaperone for cellular signaling and proliferation. A molecule identified in this screen, HSF1A, is structurally distinct from other characterized small molecule human HSF1 activators, activates HSF1 in mammalian and fly cells, elevates protein chaperone expression, ameliorates protein misfolding and cell death in polyQ-expressing neuronal precursor cells and protects against cytotoxicity in a fly model of polyQ-mediated neurodegeneration. In addition, we show that HSF1A interacts with components of the TRiC/CCT complex, suggesting a potentially novel regulatory role for this complex in modulating HSF1 activity. These studies describe a novel approach for the identification of new classes of pharmacological interventions for protein misfolding that underlies devastating neurodegenerative disease.
The misfolding of proteins into a toxic state contributes to a variety of neurodegenerative diseases such as Huntington, Alzheimer, and Parkinson disease. Although no known cure exists for these afflictions, many studies have shown that increasing the levels of protein chaperones, proteins that assist in the correct folding of other proteins, can suppress the neurotoxicity of the misfolded proteins. As such, increasing the cellular concentration of protein chaperones might serve as a powerful therapeutic approach in treating protein misfolding diseases. Because the levels of protein chaperones in the cell are primarily controlled by the heat shock transcription factor 1 [HSF1], we have designed and implemented a pharmacological screen to identify small molecules that can promote human HSF1 activation and increase the expression of protein chaperones. Through these studies, we have identified HSF1A, a molecule capable of activating human HSF1, increasing the levels of protein chaperones and alleviating the toxicity of misfolded proteins in both cell culture as well as fruit fly models of neurodegenerative disease.
Isu, the scaffold protein on which Fe-S clusters are built in the mitochondrial matrix, plays a central role in the biogenesis of Fe-S cluster proteins. We report that the reduction in the activity of several components of the cluster biogenesis system, including the specialized Hsp70 Ssq1, causes a 15–20-fold up-regulation of Isu. This up-regulation results from changes at both the transcriptional and posttranslational level: an increase in ISU mRNA levels and in stability of ISU protein. Its biological importance is demonstrated by the fact that cells lacking Ssq1 grow poorly when Isu levels are prevented from rising above those found in wild-type cells. Of the biogenesis factors tested, Nfs1, the sulfur donor, was unique. Little increase in Isu levels occurred when Nfs1 was depleted. However, its presence was required for the up-regulation caused by reduction in activity of other components. Our results are consistent with the existence of a mechanism to increase the stability of Isu, and thus its level, that is dependent on the presence of the cysteine desulfurase Nfs1.
Translocation of proteins from the cytosol across the mitochondrial inner membrane is driven by the action of the import motor, which is associated with the translocon on the matrix side of the membrane. It is well established that an essential peripheral membrane protein, Tim44, tethers mitochondrial Hsp70 (mtHsp70), the core of the import motor, to the translocon. This Tim44-mtHsp70 interaction, which can be recapitulated in vitro, is destabilized by binding of mtHsp70 to a substrate polypeptide. Here we report that the N-terminal 167-amino-acid segment of mature Tim44 is sufficient for both interaction with mtHsp70 and destabilization of a Tim44-mtHsp70 complex caused by client protein binding. Amino acid alterations within a 30-amino-acid segment affected both the release of mtHsp70 upon peptide binding and the interaction of Tim44 with the translocon. Our results support the idea that Tim44 plays multiple roles in mitochondrial protein import by recruiting Ssc1 and its J protein cochaperone to the translocon and coordinating their interactions to promote efficient protein translocation in vivo.
Import of proteins across the inner mitochondrial membrane through the Tim23:Tim17 translocase requires the function of an essential import motor having mitochondrial 70-kDa heat-shock protein (mtHsp70) at its core. The heterodimer composed of Pam18, the J-protein partner of mtHsp70, and the related protein Pam16 is a critical component of this motor. We report that three interactions contribute to association of the heterodimer with the translocon: the N terminus of Pam16 with the matrix side of the translocon, the inner membrane space domain of Pam18 (Pam18IMS) with Tim17, and the direct interaction of the J-domain of Pam18 with the J-like domain of Pam16. Pam16 plays a major role in translocon association, as alterations affecting the stability of the Pam18:Pam16 heterodimer dramatically affect association of Pam18, but not Pam16, with the translocon. Suppressors of the growth defects caused by alterations in the N terminus of Pam16 were isolated and found to be due to mutations in a short segment of TIM44, the gene encoding the peripheral membrane protein that tethers mtHsp70 to the translocon. These data suggest a model in which Tim44 serves as a scaffold for precise positioning of mtHsp70 and its cochaperone Pam18 at the translocon.
The Hsp70 Ssb and J protein Zuo1 of Saccharomyces cerevisiae are ribosome-associated molecular chaperones, proposed to be involved in the folding of newly synthesized polypeptide chains. Cells lacking Ssb and/or Zuo1 have been reported to be hypersensitive to cationic aminoglycoside protein synthesis inhibitors that affect translational fidelity and to NaCl. Since we found that Δssb1 Δssb2 (Δssb1,2), Δzuo1, and wild-type cells have very similar levels of translational misreading in the absence of aminoglycosides, we asked whether the sensitivities to aminoglycosides and NaCl represent a general increase in sensitivity to cations. We found that Δssb1,2 and Δzuo1 cells are hypersensitive to a wide range of cations. This broad sensitivity is similar to that of cells having lowered activity of major plasma membrane transporters, such as the major K+ transporters Trk1 and Trk2 or their regulators Hal4 and Hal5. Like Δhal4,5 cells, Δssb1,2 and Δzuo1 cells have increased intracellular levels of Na+ and Li+ upon challenge with higher-than-normal levels of these cations, due to an increased rate of influx. In the presence of aminoglycosides, Δssb1,2, Δzuo1, and Δhal 4,5 cells have similarly increased levels of translational misreading. We conclude that, in vivo, the major cause of the aminoglycoside sensitivity of cells lacking ribosome-associated molecular chaperones is a general increase in cation influx, perhaps due to altered maturation of membrane proteins.
The Hrp1/Nab4 shuttling protein belongs to a family of RNA binding proteins that bind to nascent RNA polymerase II transcripts and form hnRNP complexes. Members of this family function in a staggering array of cellular activities, ranging from transcription and pre-mRNA processing in the nucleus to cytoplasmic mRNA translation and turnover. It has recently been recognized that the yeast stress response can include alterations in hnRNP-mediated mRNA export. We now report that the steady-state localization of Hrp1p rapidly shifts from the nucleus to the cytoplasm in response to osmotic stress. In contrast to a general stress response resulting in a transient relocation, Hrp1p redistribution is specific to hyperosmotic stress and is only reversed after stress removal. Hrp1p relocalization requires both the CRM1/XPO1 exportin and the FPS1 glycerol transporter genes but is independent of ongoing RNA transcription and protein arginine methylation. However, mutations in the high osmolarity glycerol and protein kinase C osmosensing pathways do not impact the Hrp1p hyperosmotic response. We present a working model for the cytoplasmic accumulation of Hrp1 and discuss the implications of this relocalization on Hrp1p function.
In the unfolded protein response (UPR) signaling pathway, accumulation of
unfolded proteins in the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) activates a transmembrane
kinase/ribonuclease Ire1, which causes the transcriptional induction of
ER-resident chaperones, including BiP/Kar2. It was previously hypothesized
that BiP/Kar2 plays a direct role in the signaling mechanism. In this model,
association of BiP/Kar2 with Ire1 represses the UPR pathway while under
conditions of ER stress, BiP/Kar2 dissociation leads to activation. To test
this model, we analyzed five temperature-sensitive alleles of the yeast
KAR2 gene. When cells carrying a mutation in the Kar2
substrate-binding domain were incubated at the restrictive temperature,
association of Kar2 to Ire1 was disrupted, and the UPR pathway was activated
even in the absence of extrinsic ER stress. Conversely, cells carrying a
mutation in the Kar2 ATPase domain, in which Kar2 poorly dissociated from Ire1
even in the presence of tunicamycin, a potent inducer of ER stress, were
unable to activate the pathway. Our findings provide strong evidence in
support of BiP/Kar2-dependent Ire1 regulation model and suggest that Ire1
associates with Kar2 as a chaperone substrate. We speculate that recognition
of unfolded proteins is based on their competition with Ire1 for binding with
We used transcriptional profiling to investigate the response of the fungal pathogen Candida albicans to temperature and osmotic and oxidative stresses under conditions that permitted >60% survival of the challenged cells. Each stress generated the transient induction of a specific set of genes including classic markers observed in the stress responses of other organisms. We noted that the classical hallmarks of the general stress response observed in Saccharomyces cerevisiae are absent from C. albicans; no C. albicans genes were significantly induced in a common response to the three stresses. This observation is supported by our inability to detect stress cross-protection in C. albicans. Similarly, in C. albicans there is essentially no induction of carbohydrate reserves like glycogen and trehalose in response to a mild stress, unlike the situation in S. cerevisiae. Thus C. albicans lacks the strong general stress response exhibited by S. cerevisiae.
Sis1 and Ydj1, functionally distinct heat shock protein (Hsp)40 molecular chaperones of the yeast cytosol, are homologs of Hdj1 and Hdj2 of mammalian cells, respectively. Sis1 is necessary for propagation of the Saccharomyces cerevisiae prion [RNQ+]; Ydj1 is not. The ability to function in [RNQ+] maintenance has been conserved, because Hdj1 can function to maintain Rnq1 in an aggregated form in place of Sis1, but Hdj2 cannot. An extended glycine-rich region of Sis1, composed of a region rich in phenylalanine residues (G/F) and another rich in methionine residues (G/M), is critical for prion maintenance. Single amino acid alterations in a short stretch of amino acids of the G/F region of Sis1 that are absent in the otherwise highly conserved G/F region of Ydj1 cause defects in prion maintenance. However, there is some functional redundancy within the glycine-rich regions of Sis1, because a deletion of the adjacent glycine/methionine (G/M) region was somewhat defective in propagation of [RNQ+] as well. These results are consistent with a model in which the glycine-rich regions of Hsp40s contain specific determinants of function manifested through interaction with Hsp70s.
To understand the many roles of the Krebs tricarboxylic acid (TCA) cycle in cell function, we used DNA microarrays to examine gene expression in response to TCA cycle dysfunction. mRNA was analyzed from yeast strains harboring defects in each of 15 genes that encode subunits of the eight TCA cycle enzymes. The expression of >400 genes changed at least threefold in response to TCA cycle dysfunction. Many genes displayed a common response to TCA cycle dysfunction indicative of a shift away from oxidative metabolism. Another set of genes displayed a pairwise, alternating pattern of expression in response to contiguous TCA cycle enzyme defects: expression was elevated in aconitase and isocitrate dehydrogenase mutants, diminished in α-ketoglutarate dehydrogenase and succinyl-CoA ligase mutants, elevated again in succinate dehydrogenase and fumarase mutants, and diminished again in malate dehydrogenase and citrate synthase mutants. This pattern correlated with previously defined TCA cycle growth–enhancing mutations and suggested a novel metabolic signaling pathway monitoring TCA cycle function. Expression of hypoxic/anaerobic genes was elevated in α-ketoglutarate dehydrogenase mutants, whereas expression of oxidative genes was diminished, consistent with a heme signaling defect caused by inadequate levels of the heme precursor, succinyl-CoA. These studies have revealed extensive responses to changes in TCA cycle function and have uncovered new and unexpected metabolic networks that are wired into the TCA cycle.
The core of the cytochrome c oxidase complex is composed of its three largest subunits, Cox1p, Cox2p, and Cox3p, which are encoded in mitochondrial DNA of Saccharomyces cerevisiae and inserted into the inner membrane from the inside. Mitochondrial translation of the COX1, COX2, and COX3 mRNAs is activated mRNA specifically by the nuclearly coded proteins Pet309p, Pet111p, and the concerted action of Pet54p, Pet122p, and Pet494p, respectively. Because the translational activators recognize sites in the 5′-untranslated leaders of these mRNAs and because untranslated mRNA sequences contain information for targeting their protein products, the activators are likely to play a role in localizing translation. Herein, we report physical associations among the mRNA-specific translational activator proteins, located on the matrix side of the inner membrane. These interactions, detected by coimmune precipitation and by two-hybrid experiments, suggest that the translational activator proteins could be organized on the surface of the inner membrane such that synthesis of Cox1p, Cox2p, and Cox3p would be colocalized in a way that facilitates assembly of the core of the cytochrome c oxidase complex. In addition, we found interactions between Nam1p/Mtf2p and the translational activators, suggesting an organized delivery of mitochondrial mRNAs to the translation system.
We demonstrate the existence of a large endoplasmic reticulum (ER)-localized multiprotein complex that is comprised of the molecular chaperones BiP; GRP94; CaBP1; protein disulfide isomerase (PDI); ERdj3, a recently identified ER Hsp40 cochaperone; cyclophilin B; ERp72; GRP170; UDP-glucosyltransferase; and SDF2-L1. This complex is associated with unassembled, incompletely folded immunoglobulin heavy chains. Except for ERdj3, and to a lesser extent PDI, this complex also forms in the absence of nascent protein synthesis and is found in a variety of cell types. Cross-linking studies reveal that the majority of these chaperones are included in the complex. Our data suggest that this subset of ER chaperones forms an ER network that can bind to unfolded protein substrates instead of existing as free pools that assembled onto substrate proteins. It is noticeable that most of the components of the calnexin/calreticulin system, which include some of the most abundant chaperones inside the ER, are either not detected in this complex or only very poorly represented. This study demonstrates an organization of ER chaperones and folding enzymes that has not been previously appreciated and suggests a spatial separation of the two chaperone systems that may account for the temporal interactions observed in other studies.
In Schizosaccharomyces pombe, the Sty1 mitogen-activated protein kinase and the Atf1 transcription factor control transcriptional induction in response to elevated salt concentrations. Herein, we demonstrate that two repressors, Tup11 and Tup12, and the Prr1 transcription factor also function in the response to salt shock. We find that deletion of both tup genes together results in hypersensitivity to elevated cation concentrations (K+ and Ca2+) and we identify cta3+, which encodes an intracellular cation transporter, as a novel stress gene whose expression is positively controlled by the Sty1 pathway and negatively regulated by Tup repressors. The expression of cta3+ is maintained at low levels by the Tup repressors, and relief from repression requires the Sty1, Atf1, and Prr1. Prr1 is also required for KCl-mediated induction of several other Sty1-dependent genes such as gpx1+ and ctt1+. Surprisingly, the KCl-mediated induction of cta3+ expression occurs independently of Sty1 in a tup11Δ tup12Δ mutant and so the Tup repressors link induction to the Sty1 pathway. We also report that in contrast to a number of other Sty1- and Atf1-dependent genes, the expression of cta3+ is induced only by high salt concentrations. However, in the absence of the Tup repressors this specificity is lost and a range of stresses induces cta3+ expression.
The amino- and carboxy-terminal domains of mitochondrially encoded cytochrome c oxidase subunit II (Cox2p) are translocated out of the matrix to the intermembrane space. We have carried out a genetic screen to identify components required to export the biosynthetic enzyme Arg8p, tethered to the Cox2p C terminus by a translational gene fusion inserted into mtDNA. We obtained multiple alleles of COX18, PNT1, and MSS2, as well as mutations in CBP1 and PET309. Focusing on Cox18p, we found that its activity is required to export the C-tail of Cox2p bearing a short C-terminal epitope tag. This is not a consequence of reduced membrane potential due to loss of cytochrome oxidase activity because Cox2p C-tail export was not blocked in mitochondria lacking Cox4p. Cox18p is not required to export the Cox2p N-tail, indicating that these two domains of Cox2p are translocated by genetically distinct mechanisms. Cox18p is a mitochondrial integral inner membrane protein. The inner membrane proteins Mss2p and Pnt1p both coimmunoprecipitate with Cox18p, suggesting that they work together in translocation of Cox2p domains, an inference supported by functional interactions among the three genes.