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The MIA pathway: a key regulator of mitochondrial oxidative protein folding and biogenesis.

ABSTRACT: Mitochondria are fundamental intracellular organelles with key roles in important cellular processes like energy production, Fe/S cluster biogenesis, and homeostasis of lipids and inorganic ions. Mitochondrial dysfunction is consequently linked to many human pathologies (cancer, diabetes, neurodegeneration, stroke) and apoptosis. Mitochondrial biogenesis relies on protein import as most mitochondrial proteins (about 10-15% of the human proteome) are imported after their synthesis in the cytosol. Over the last several years many mitochondrial translocation pathways have been discovered. Among them, the import pathway that targets proteins to the intermembrane space (IMS) stands out as it is the only one that couples import to folding and oxidation and results in the covalent modification of the incoming precursor that adopt internal disulfide bonds in the process (the MIA pathway). The discovery of this pathway represented a significant paradigm shift as it challenged the prevailing dogma that the endoplasmic reticulum is the only compartment of eukaryotic cells where oxidative folding can occur. The concept of the oxidative folding pathway was first proposed on the basis of folding and import data for the small Tim proteins that have conserved cysteine motifs and must adopt intramolecular disulfides after import so that they are retained in the organelle. The introduction of disulfides in the IMS is catalyzed by Mia40 that functions as a chaperone inducing their folding. The sulfhydryl oxidase Erv1 generates the disulfide pairs de novo using either molecular oxygen or, cytochrome c and other proteins as terminal electron acceptors that eventually link this folding process to respiration. The solution NMR structure of Mia40 (and supporting biochemical experiments) showed that Mia40 is a novel type of disulfide donor whose recognition capacity for its substrates relies on a hydrophobic binding cleft found adjacent to a thiol active CPC motif. Targeting of the substrates to this pathway is guided by a novel type of IMS targeting signal called ITS or MISS. This consists of only 9 amino acids, found upstream or downstream of a unique Cys that is primed for docking to Mia40 when the substrate is accommodated in the Mia40 binding cleft. Different routes exist to complete the folding of the substrates and their final maturation in the IMS. Identification of new Mia40 substrates (some even without the requirement of their cysteines) reveals an expanded chaperone-like activity of this protein in the IMS. New evidence on the targeting of redox active proteins like thioredoxin, glutaredoxin, and peroxiredoxin into the IMS suggests the presence of redox-dependent regulatory mechanisms of the protein folding and import process in mitochondria. Maintenance of redox balance in mitochondria is crucial for normal cell physiology and depends on the cross-talk between the various redox signaling processes and the mitochondrial oxidative folding pathway.

PROVIDER: S-EPMC4551283 | BioStudies |

REPOSITORIES: biostudies

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