Author(s): Chen XJ, Wang X, Butow RA
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Abstract Aconitase (Aco1p) is a multifunctional protein: It is an enzyme of the tricarboxylic acid cycle. In animal cells, Aco1p also is a cytosolic protein binding to mRNAs to regulate iron metabolism. In yeast, Aco1p was identified as a component of mtDNA nucleoids. Here we show that yeast Aco1p protects mtDNA from excessive accumulation of point mutations and ssDNA breaks and suppresses reductive recombination of mtDNA. Aconitase binds to both ds- and ssDNA, with a preference for GC-containing sequences. Therefore, mitochondria are opportunistic organelles that seize proteins, such as metabolic enzymes, for construction of the nucleoid, an mtDNA maintenance/segregation apparatus.
This article was published in Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A
and referenced in Bioenergetics: Open Access