Variable and tissue-specific subunit composition of mitochondrial m-AAA protease complexes linked to hereditary spastic paraplegia

Mirko Koppen, Metodi D. Metodiev, Giorgio Casari, Elena I. Rugarli, Thomas Langer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The m-AAA protease, an ATP-dependent proteolytic complex in the mitochondrial inner membrane, controls protein quality and regulates ribosome assembly, thus exerting essential housekeeping functions within mitochondria. Mutations in the m-AAA protease subunit paraplegin cause axonal degeneration in hereditary spastic paraplegia (HSP), but the basis for the unexpected tissue specificity is not understood. Paraplegin assembles with homologous Afg312 subunits into hetero-oligomeric complexes which can substitute for yeast m-AAA proteases, demonstrating functional conservation. The function of a third paralogue, Afg311 expressed in mouse, is unknown. Here, we analyze the assembly of paraplegin into m-AAA complexes and monitor consequences of paraplegin deficiency in HSP fibroblasts and in a mouse model for HSP. Our findings reveal variability in the assembly of m-AAA proteases in mitochondria in different tissues. Homo-oligomeric Afg311 and Afg312 complexes and hetero-oligomeric assemblies of both proteins with paraplegin can be formed. Yeast complementation studies demonstrate the proteolytic activity of these assemblies. Paraplegin deficiency in HSP does not result in the loss of m-AAA protease activity in brain mitochondria. Rather, homo-oligomeric Afg312 complexes accumulate, and these complexes can substitute for housekeeping functions of paraplegin-containing m-AAA complexes. We therefore propose that the formation of m-AAA proteases with altered substrate specificities leads to axonal degeneration in HSP.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)758-767
Number of pages10
JournalMolecular and Cellular Biology
Volume27
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2007

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics
  • Cell Biology

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