Structure of the human monomeric NEET protein MiNT and its role in regulating iron and reactive oxygen species in cancer cells.
ABSTRACT: The NEET family is a relatively new class of three related [2Fe-2S] proteins (CISD1-3), important in human health and disease. While there has been growing interest in the homodimeric gene products of CISD1 (mitoNEET) and CISD2 (NAF-1), the importance of the inner mitochondrial CISD3 protein has only recently been recognized in cancer. The CISD3 gene encodes for a monomeric protein that contains two [2Fe-2S] CDGSH motifs, which we term mitochondrial inner NEET protein (MiNT). It folds with a pseudosymmetrical fold that provides a hydrophobic motif on one side and a relatively hydrophilic surface on the diametrically opposed surface. Interestingly, as shown by molecular dynamics simulation, the protein displays distinct asymmetrical backbone motions, unlike its homodimeric counterparts that face the cytosolic side of the outer mitochondrial membrane/endoplasmic reticulum (ER). However, like its counterparts, our biological studies indicate that knockdown of MiNT leads to increased accumulation of mitochondrial labile iron, as well as increased mitochondrial reactive oxygen production. Taken together, our study suggests that the MiNT protein functions in the same pathway as its homodimeric counterparts (mitoNEET and NAF-1), and could be a key player in this pathway within the mitochondria. As such, it represents a target for anticancer or antidiabetic drug development.
Project description:NEET proteins comprise a new class of [2Fe-2S] cluster proteins. In human, three genes encode for NEET proteins: cisd1 encodes mitoNEET (mNT), cisd2 encodes the Nutrient-deprivation autophagy factor-1 (NAF-1) and cisd3 encodes MiNT (Miner2). These recently discovered proteins play key roles in many processes related to normal metabolism and disease. Indeed, NEET proteins are involved in iron, Fe-S, and reactive oxygen homeostasis in cells and play an important role in regulating apoptosis and autophagy. mNT and NAF-1 are homodimeric and reside on the outer mitochondrial membrane. NAF-1 also resides in the membranes of the ER associated mitochondrial membranes (MAM) and the ER. MiNT is a monomer with distinct asymmetry in the molecular surfaces surrounding the clusters. Unlike its paralogs mNT and NAF-1, it resides within the mitochondria. NAF-1 and mNT share similar backbone folds to the plant homodimeric NEET protein (At-NEET), while MiNT's backbone fold resembles a bacterial MiNT protein. Despite the variation of amino acid composition among these proteins, all NEET proteins retained their unique CDGSH domain harboring their unique 3Cys:1His [2Fe-2S] cluster coordination through evolution. The coordinating exposed His was shown to convey the lability to the NEET proteins' [2Fe-2S] clusters. In this minireview, we discuss the NEET fold and its structural elements. Special attention is given to the unique lability of the NEETs' [2Fe-2S] cluster and the implication of the latter to the NEET proteins' cellular and systemic function in health and disease.
Project description:NEET proteins belong to a unique family of iron-sulfur proteins in which the 2Fe-2S cluster is coordinated by a CDGSH domain that is followed by the "NEET" motif. They are involved in the regulation of iron and reactive oxygen metabolism, and have been associated with the progression of diabetes, cancer, aging and neurodegenerative diseases. Despite their important biological functions, the evolution and diversification of eukaryotic NEET proteins are largely unknown. Here we used the three members of the human NEET protein family (CISD1, mitoNEET; CISD2, NAF-1 or Miner 1; and CISD3, Miner2) as our guides to conduct a phylogenetic analysis of eukaryotic NEET proteins and their evolution. Our findings identified the slime mold Dictyostelium discoideum's CISD proteins as the closest to the ancient archetype of eukaryotic NEET proteins. We further identified CISD3 homologs in fungi that were previously reported not to contain any NEET proteins, and revealed that plants lack homolog(s) of CISD3. Furthermore, our study suggests that the mammalian NEET proteins, mitoNEET (CISD1) and NAF-1 (CISD2), emerged via gene duplication around the origin of vertebrates. Our findings provide new insights into the classification and expansion of the NEET protein family, as well as offer clues to the diverged functions of the human mitoNEET and NAF-1 proteins.
Project description:Nutrient-deprivation autophagy factor-1 (NAF-1, miner1; gene cisd2) is part of the [2Fe-2S]-containing protein family which includes mitoNEET (gene cisd1) and MiNT (miner2; gene cisd3). These proteins are redox active and are thought to play an important role in cellular energy homeostasis with NAF-1 playing a critical role in calcium regulation and aging. To date, no studies have investigated potential ligand interaction with NAF-1. Here we show that the thiazolidinediones pioglitazone and rosiglitazone along with the mitoNEET ligand, NL-1, bind to NAF-1 with low micromolar affinities. Further, we show that overexpression of NAF-1 in hepatocellular carcinoma (HepG2) cells reduces inhibition of mitochondrial respiration by pioglitazone. Our findings support the need for further efforts of the rational design of selective NAF-1 ligands.
Project description:Iron-sulfur cluster biogenesis is executed by distinct protein assembly systems. Mammals have two systems, the mitochondrial Fe-S cluster assembly system (ISC) and the cytosolic assembly system (CIA), that are connected by an unknown mechanism. The human members of the NEET family of 2Fe-2S proteins, nutrient-deprivation autophagy factor-1 (NAF-1) and mitoNEET (mNT), are located at the interface between the mitochondria and the cytosol. These proteins have been implicated in cancer cell proliferation, and they can transfer their 2Fe-2S clusters to a standard apo-acceptor protein. Here we report the first physiological 2Fe-2S cluster acceptor for both NEET proteins as human Anamorsin (also known as cytokine induced apoptosis inhibitor-1; CIAPIN-1). Anamorsin is an electron transfer protein containing two iron-sulfur cluster-binding sites that is required for cytosolic Fe-S cluster assembly. We show, using UV-Vis spectroscopy, that both NAF-1 and mNT can transfer their 2Fe-2S clusters to apo-Anamorsin with second order rate constants similar to those of other known human 2Fe-2S transfer proteins. A direct protein-protein interaction of the NEET proteins with apo-Anamorsin was detected using biolayer interferometry. Furthermore, electrospray mass spectrometry of holo-Anamorsin prepared by cluster transfer shows that it receives both of its 2Fe-2S clusters from the NEETs. We propose that mNT and NAF-1 can provide parallel routes connecting the mitochondrial ISC system and the CIA. 2Fe-2S clusters assembled in the mitochondria are received by NEET proteins and when needed transferred to Anamorsin, activating the CIA.
Project description:Mitochondria are emerging as important players in the transformation process of cells, maintaining the biosynthetic and energetic capacities of cancer cells and serving as one of the primary sites of apoptosis and autophagy regulation. Although several avenues of cancer therapy have focused on mitochondria, progress in developing mitochondria-targeting anticancer drugs nonetheless has been slow, owing to the limited number of known mitochondrial target proteins that link metabolism with autophagy or cell death. Recent studies have demonstrated that two members of the newly discovered family of NEET proteins, NAF-1 (CISD2) and mitoNEET (mNT; CISD1), could play such a role in cancer cells. NAF-1 was shown to be a key player in regulating autophagy, and mNT was proposed to mediate iron and reactive oxygen homeostasis in mitochondria. Here we show that the protein levels of NAF-1 and mNT are elevated in human epithelial breast cancer cells, and that suppressing the level of these proteins using shRNA results in significantly reduced cell proliferation and tumor growth, decreased mitochondrial performance, uncontrolled accumulation of iron and reactive oxygen in mitochondria, and activation of autophagy. Our findings highlight NEET proteins as promising mitochondrial targets for cancer therapy.
Project description:Programmed cell death, which occurs through a conserved core molecular pathway, is important for fundamental developmental and homeostatic processes. The human iron-sulfur binding protein NAF-1/CISD2 binds to Bcl-2 and its disruption in cells leads to an increase in apoptosis. Other members of the CDGSH iron sulfur domain (CISD) family include mitoNEET/CISD1 and Miner2/CISD3. In humans, mutations in CISD2 result in Wolfram syndrome 2, a disease in which the patients display juvenile diabetes, neuropsychiatric disorders and defective platelet aggregation. The C. elegans genome contains three previously uncharacterized cisd genes that code for CISD-1, which has homology to mitoNEET/CISD1 and NAF-1/CISD2, and CISD-3.1 and CISD-3.2, both of which have homology to Miner2/CISD3. Disrupting the function of the cisd genes resulted in various germline abnormalities including distal tip cell migration defects and a significant increase in the number of cell corpses within the adult germline. This increased germ cell death is blocked by a gain-of-function mutation of the Bcl-2 homolog CED-9 and requires functional caspase CED-3 and the APAF-1 homolog CED-4. Furthermore, the increased germ cell death is facilitated by the pro-apoptotic, CED-9-binding protein CED-13, but not the related EGL-1 protein. This work is significant because it places the CISD family members as regulators of physiological germline programmed cell death acting through CED-13 and the core apoptotic machinery.
Project description:Identification of novel drug targets and chemotherapeutic agents is a high priority in the fight against cancer. Here, we report that MAD-28, a designed cluvenone (CLV) derivative, binds to and destabilizes two members of a unique class of mitochondrial and endoplasmic reticulum (ER) 2Fe-2S proteins, mitoNEET (mNT) and nutrient-deprivation autophagy factor-1 (NAF-1), recently implicated in cancer cell proliferation. Docking analysis of MAD-28 to mNT/NAF-1 revealed that in contrast to CLV, which formed a hydrogen bond network that stabilized the 2Fe-2S clusters of these proteins, MAD-28 broke the coordinative bond between the His ligand and the cluster's Fe of mNT/NAF-1. Analysis of MAD-28 performed with control (Michigan Cancer Foundation; MCF-10A) and malignant (M.D. Anderson-metastatic breast; MDA-MB-231 or MCF-7) human epithelial breast cells revealed that MAD-28 had a high specificity in the selective killing of cancer cells, without any apparent effects on normal breast cells. MAD-28 was found to target the mitochondria of cancer cells and displayed a surprising similarity in its effects to the effects of mNT/NAF-1 shRNA suppression in cancer cells, causing a decrease in respiration and mitochondrial membrane potential, as well as an increase in mitochondrial iron content and glycolysis. As expected, if the NEET proteins are targets of MAD-28, cancer cells with suppressed levels of NAF-1 or mNT were less susceptible to the drug. Taken together, our results suggest that NEET proteins are a novel class of drug targets in the chemotherapeutic treatment of breast cancer, and that MAD-28 can now be used as a template for rational drug design for NEET Fe-S cluster-destabilizing anticancer drugs.
Project description:The iron-sulfur (2Fe-2S) binding motif CDGSH appears in many important plant and animal proteins that regulate iron and reactive oxygen metabolism. In human it is found in CISD1-3 proteins involved in diabetes, obesity, cancer, aging, cardiovascular disease and neurodegeneration. Despite the important biological role of the CDGSH domain, its origin, evolution and diversification, are largely unknown. Here, we report that: (1) the CDGSH domain appeared early in evolution, perhaps linked to the heavy use of iron-sulfur driven metabolism by early organisms; (2) a CISD3-like protein with two CDGSH domains on the same polypeptide appears to represent the ancient archetype of CDGSH proteins; (3) the origin of the human CISD3 protein is linked to the mitochondrial endosymbiotic event; (4) the CISD1/2 type proteins that contain only one CDGSH domain, but function as homodimers, originated after the divergence of bacteria and archaea/eukaryotes from their common ancestor; and (5) the human CISD1 and CISD2 proteins diverged about 650-720 million years ago, and CISD3 and CISD1/2 share their descent from an ancestral CISD about 1-1.1 billion years ago. Our findings reveal that the CDGSH domain is ancient in its origin and shed light on the complex evolutionary path of modern CDGSH proteins.
Project description:MitoNEET (gene cisd1) is a mitochondrial outer membrane [2Fe-2S] protein and is a potential drug target in several metabolic diseases. Previous studies have demonstrated that mitoNEET functions as a redox-active and pH-sensing protein that regulates mitochondrial metabolism, although the structural basis of the potential drug binding site(s) remains elusive. Here we report the crystal structure of the soluble domain of human mitoNEET with a sulfonamide ligand, furosemide. Exploration of the high-resolution crystal structure is used to design mitoNEET binding molecules in a pilot study of molecular probes for use in future development of mitochondrial targeted therapies for a wide variety of metabolic diseases, including obesity, diabetes and neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's and Parkinson's disease.
Project description:NAF-1 is an important [2Fe-2S] NEET protein associated with human health and disease. A mis-splicing mutation in NAF-1 results in Wolfram Syndrome type 2, a lethal childhood disease. Upregulation of NAF-1 is found in epithelial breast cancer cells, and suppression of NAF-1 expression by knockdown significantly suppresses tumor growth. Key to NAF-1 function is the NEET fold with its [2Fe-2S] cluster. In this work, the high-resolution structure of native NAF-1 was determined to 1.65?Å resolution (R factor = 13.5%) together with that of a mutant in which the single His ligand of its [2Fe-2S] cluster, His114, was replaced by Cys. The NAF-1 H114C mutant structure was determined to 1.58?Å resolution (R factor = 16.0%). All structural differences were localized to the cluster binding site. Compared with native NAF-1, the [2Fe-2S] clusters of the H114C mutant were found to (i) be 25-fold more stable, (ii) have a redox potential that is 300?mV more negative and (iii) have their cluster donation/transfer function abolished. Because no global structural differences were found between the mutant and the native (wild-type) NAF-1 proteins, yet significant functional differences exist between them, the NAF-1 H114C mutant is an excellent tool to decipher the underlying biological importance of the [2Fe-2S] cluster of NAF-1 in vivo.