Browsing by Subject "PROTEIN IMPORT"

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  • Baggio, Francesca; Hetzel, Udo; Nufer, Lisbeth; Kipar, Anja; Hepojoki, Jussi (2021)
    Viruses need cells for their replication and, therefore, ways to hijack cellular functions. Mitochondria play fundamental roles within the cell in metabolism, immunity and regulation of homeostasis due to which some viruses aim to alter mitochondrial functions. Herein we show that the nucleoprotein (NP) of arenaviruses enters the mitochondria of infected cells, affecting the mitochondrial morphology. Reptarenaviruses cause boid inclusion body disease (BIBD) that is characterized, especially in boas, by the formation of cytoplasmic inclusion bodies (IBs) comprising reptarenavirus NP within the infected cells. We initiated this study after observing electron-dense material reminiscent of IBs within the mitochondria of reptarenavirus infected boid cell cultures in an ultrastructural study. We employed immuno-electron microscopy to confirm that the mitochondrial inclusions indeed contain reptarenavirus NP. Mutations to a putative N-terminal mitochondrial targeting signal (MTS), identified via software predictions in both mamm- and reptarenavirus NPs, did not affect the mitochondrial localization of NP, suggesting that it occurs independently of MTS. In support of MTS-independent translocation, we did not detect cleavage of the putative MTSs of arenavirus NPs in reptilian or mammalian cells. Furthermore, in vitro translated NPs could not enter isolated mitochondria, suggesting that the translocation requires cellular factors or conditions. Our findings suggest that MTS-independent mitochondrial translocation of NP is a shared feature among arenaviruses. We speculate that by targeting the mitochondria arenaviruses aim to alter mitochondrial metabolism and homeostasis or affect the cellular defense.
  • Pawlowski, Rafal; Rajakylä, Eeva; Vartiainen, Maria K.; Treisman, Richard (2010)
  • Lutfullahoglu-Bal, Guleycan; Keskin, Abdurrahman; Seferoglu, Ayse Bengisu; Dunn, Cory D. (2017)
    Background: During the generation and evolution of the eukaryotic cell, a proteobacterial endosymbiont was re-fashioned into the mitochondrion, an organelle that appears to have been present in the ancestor of all present-day eukaryotes. Mitochondria harbor proteomes derived from coding information located both inside and outside the organelle, and the rate-limiting step toward the formation of eukaryotic cells may have been development of an import apparatus allowing protein entry to mitochondria. Currently, a widely conserved translocon allows proteins to pass from the cytosol into mitochondria, but how proteins encoded outside of mitochondria were first directed to these organelles at the dawn of eukaryogenesis is not clear. Because several proteins targeted by a carboxyl-terminal tail anchor (TA) appear to have the ability to insert spontaneously into the mitochondrial outer membrane (OM), it is possible that self-inserting, tail-anchored polypeptides obtained from bacteria might have formed the first gate allowing proteins to access mitochondria from the cytosol. Results: Here, we tested whether bacterial TAs are capable of targeting to mitochondria. In a survey of proteins encoded by the proteobacterium Escherichia coli, predicted TA sequences were directed to specific subcellular locations within the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Importantly, TAs obtained from DUF883 family members ElaB and YqjD were abundantly localized to and inserted at the mitochondrial OM. Conclusions: Our results support the notion that eukaryotic cells are able to utilize membrane-targeting signals present in bacterial proteins obtained by lateral gene transfer, and our findings make plausible a model in which mitochondrial protein translocation was first driven by tail-anchored proteins.
  • Konovalova, Svetlana; Liu, Xiaonan; Manjunath, Pooja; Baral, Sundar; Neupane, Nirajan; Hilander, Taru; Yang, Yang; Balboa, Diego; Terzioglu, Mügen; Euro, Liliya; Varjosalo, Markku; Tyynismaa, Henna (2018)
    Mitochondria are central organelles to cellular metabolism. Their function relies largely on nuclear-encoded proteins that must be imported from the cytosol, and thus the protein import pathways are important for the maintenance of mitochondrial proteostasis. Mitochondrial HSP70 (mtHsp70) is a key component in facilitating the translocation of proteins through the inner membrane into the mitochondrial matrix. Its protein folding cycle is regulated by the nucleotide-exchange factor GrpE, which triggers the release of folded proteins by ATP rebinding. Vertebrates have two mitochondrial GrpE paralogs, GRPEL1 and 2, but without clearly defined roles. Using BioID proximity labeling to identify potential binding partners of the GRPELs in the mitochondrial matrix, we obtained results supporting a model where both GRPELs regulate mtHsp70 as homodimers. We show that GRPEL2 is not essential in human cultured cells, and its absence does not prevent mitochondrial protein import. Instead we find that GRPEL2 is redox regulated in oxidative stress. In the presence of hydrogen peroxide, GRPEL2 forms dimers through intermolecular disulfide bonds in which Cys87 is the thiol switch. We propose that the dimerization of GRPEL2 may activate the folding machinery responsible for protein import into mitochondrial matrix or enhance the chaperone activity of mtHSP70, thus protecting mitochondrial proteostasis in oxidative stress.