Yeast cells lacking the mitochondrial gene encoding the ATP synthase subunit 6 exhibit a selective loss of complex IV and unusual mitochondrial morphology.
Rak M, Tetaud E, Godard F, Sagot I, Salin B, Duvezin-Caubet S, Slonimski P, Rytka J, di Rago JP
Journal of Biological Chemistry (2007)
Category: bioenergetics, mitochondria-biogenesis, mitochondria-morphology ¤ Added: Feb 01, 2007 ¤ Rating: ◊◊
Atp6p is an essential subunit of the ATP synthase proton translocating domain, which is encoded by the mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) in yeast. We have replaced the coding sequence of Atp6p gene with the non-respiratory genetic marker ARG8m. Due to the presence of ARG8m, accumulation of rho-/rhozero petites issued from large deletions in mtDNA could be restricted to 20-30% by growing the atp6 mutant in media lacking arginine. This moderate mtDNA instability created the good conditions to investigate the consequences of a specific lack in Atp6p. Interestingly, in addition to the expected loss of ATP synthase activity, the cytochrome c oxidase respiratory enzyme steady state level was found to be extremely low (<5%) in the atp6 mutant. We show that the cytochrome c oxidase poor accumulation was caused by a failure in the synthesis of one of its mtDNA-encoded subunit, Cox1p, indicating that, in yeast mitochondria, Cox1p synthesis is a key target for cytochrome c oxidase abundance regulation in relation to the ATP synthase activity. We provide with direct evidence that in absence of Atp6p the remaining subunits of the ATP synthase can still assemble. Mitochondrial cristae were detected in the atp6 mutant, showing that neither Atp6p nor the ATP synthase activity is critical for their formation. However, the atp6 mutant exhibited unusual mitochondrial structure and distribution anomalies, presumably caused by a strong delay in inner membrane fusion.