8,411 research outputs found

    Fitness differences suppress the number of mating types in evolving isogamous species

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    Sexual reproduction is not always synonymous with the existence of two morphologically different sexes; isogamous species produce sex cells of equal size, typically falling into multiple distinct self-incompatible classes, termed mating types. A long-standing open question in evolutionary biology is: what governs the number of these mating types across species? Simple theoretical arguments imply an advantage to rare types, suggesting the number of types should grow consistently; however, empirical observations are very different. While some isogamous species exhibit thousands of mating types, such species are exceedingly rare, and most have fewer than 10. In this paper, we present a mathematical analysis to quantify the role of fitness variationÔÇöcharacterized by different mortality ratesÔÇöin determining the number of mating types emerging in simple evolutionary models. We predict that the number of mating types decreases as the variance of mortality increases

    NDUFAF5 Hydroxylates NDUFS7 at an Early Stage in the Assembly of Human Complex I.

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    Complex I (NADH ubiquinone oxidoreductase) in mammalian mitochondria is an L-shaped assembly of 45 proteins. One arm lies in the inner membrane, and the other extends about 100 ├ů into the matrix of the organelle. The extrinsic arm contains binding sites for NADH, the primary electron acceptor FMN, and seven iron-sulfur clusters that form a pathway for electrons linking FMN to the terminal electron acceptor, ubiquinone, which is bound in a tunnel in the region of the junction between the arms. The membrane arm contains four antiporter-like domains, energetically coupled to the quinone site and involved in pumping protons from the matrix into the intermembrane space contributing to the proton motive force. Seven of the subunits, forming the core of the membrane arm, are translated from mitochondrial genes, and the remaining subunits, the products of nuclear genes, are imported from the cytosol. Their assembly is coordinated by at least thirteen extrinsic assembly factor proteins that are not part of the fully assembled complex. They assist in insertion of co-factors and in building up the complex from smaller sub-assemblies. One such factor, NDUFAF5, belongs to the family of seven-╬▓-strand S-adenosylmethionine-dependent methyltransferases. However, similar to another family member, RdmB, it catalyzes the introduction of a hydroxyl group, in the case of NDUFAF5, into Arg-73 in the NDUFS7 subunit of human complex I. This modification occurs early in the pathway of assembly of complex I, before the formation of the juncture between peripheral and membrane arms.This work was supported by the Medical Research Council via Intramural Program U105663150 and Program Grant MR/M009858/1 (to J. E. W.)

    Human METTL20 methylates lysine residues adjacent to the recognition loop of the electron transfer flavoprotein in mitochondria.

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    In mammalian mitochondria, protein methylation is a relatively uncommon post-transcriptional modification, and the extent of the mitochondrial protein methylome, the modifying methyltransferases, and their substrates have been little studied. As shown here, the ╬▓-subunit of the electron transfer flavoprotein (ETF) is one such methylated protein. The ETF is a heterodimer of ╬▒- and ╬▓-subunits. Lysine residues 199 and 202 of mature ETF╬▓ are almost completely trimethylated in bovine heart mitochondria, whereas ETF╬▒ is not methylated. The enzyme responsible for the modifications was identified as methyltransferase-like protein 20 (METTL20). In human 143B cells, the methylation of ETF╬▓ is less extensive and is diminished further by suppression of METTL20. Tagged METTL20 expressed in HEK293T cells specifically associates with the ETF and promotes the trimethylation of ETF╬▓ lysine residues 199 and 202. ETF serves as a mobile electron carrier linking dehydrogenases involved in fatty acid oxidation and one-carbon metabolism to the membrane-associated ubiquinone pool. The methylated residues in ETF╬▓ are immediately adjacent to a protein loop that recognizes and binds to the dehydrogenases. Suppression of trimethylation of ETF╬▓ in mouse C2C12 cells oxidizing palmitate as an energy source reduced the consumption of oxygen by the cells. These experiments suggest that the oxidation of fatty acids in mitochondria and the passage of electrons via the ETF may be controlled by modulating the protein-protein interactions between the reduced dehydrogenases and the ╬▓-subunit of the ETF by trimethylation of lysine residues. METTL20 is the first lysine methyltransferase to be found to be associated with mitochondria.This work was supported by the Medical Research Council (MRC), UK

    Persistence of the mitochondrial permeability transition in the absence of subunit c of human ATP synthase.

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    The permeability transition in human mitochondria refers to the opening of a nonspecific channel, known as the permeability transition pore (PTP), in the inner membrane. Opening can be triggered by calcium ions, leading to swelling of the organelle, disruption of the inner membrane, and ATP synthesis, followed by cell death. Recent proposals suggest that the pore is associated with the ATP synthase complex and specifically with the ring of c-subunits that constitute the membrane domain of the enzyme's rotor. The c-subunit is produced from three nuclear genes, ATP5G1, ATP5G2, and ATP5G3, encoding identical copies of the mature protein with different mitochondrial-targeting sequences that are removed during their import into the organelle. To investigate the involvement of the c-subunit in the PTP, we generated a clonal cell, HAP1-A12, from near-haploid human cells, in which ATP5G1, ATP5G2, and ATP5G3 were disrupted. The HAP1-A12 cells are incapable of producing the c-subunit, but they preserve the characteristic properties of the PTP. Therefore, the c-subunit does not provide the PTP. The mitochondria in HAP1-A12 cells assemble a vestigial ATP synthase, with intact F1-catalytic and peripheral stalk domains and the supernumerary subunits e, f, and g, but lacking membrane subunits ATP6 and ATP8. The same vestigial complex plus associated c-subunits was characterized from human 143B ¤ü(0) cells, which cannot make the subunits ATP6 and ATP8, but retain the PTP. Therefore, none of the membrane subunits of the ATP synthase that are involved directly in transmembrane proton translocation is involved in forming the PTP.This work was supported by the Medical Research Council (MRC) of the United Kingdom by Grant MC_U1065663150 and by Programme Grant MR/M009858/1 (to J.E.W.). H.C.F. received an MRC PhD studentship


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