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C11orf83, a mitochondrial cardiolipin-binding protein involved in bc1 complex assembly and supercomplex stabilization.

Molecular and cellular biology (2015-01-22)
Marjorie Desmurs, Michelangelo Foti, Etienne Raemy, Frédéric Maxime Vaz, Jean-Claude Martinou, Amos Bairoch, Lydie Lane
ABSTRACT

Mammalian mitochondria may contain up to 1,500 different proteins, and many of them have neither been confidently identified nor characterized. In this study, we demonstrated that C11orf83, which was lacking experimental characterization, is a mitochondrial inner membrane protein facing the intermembrane space. This protein is specifically associated with the bc1 complex of the electron transport chain and involved in the early stages of its assembly by stabilizing the bc1 core complex. C11orf83 displays some overlapping functions with Cbp4p, a yeast bc1 complex assembly factor. Therefore, we suggest that C11orf83, now called UQCC3, is the functional human equivalent of Cbp4p. In addition, C11orf83 depletion in HeLa cells caused abnormal crista morphology, higher sensitivity to apoptosis, a decreased ATP level due to impaired respiration and subtle, but significant, changes in cardiolipin composition. We showed that C11orf83 binds to cardiolipin by its α-helices 2 and 3 and is involved in the stabilization of bc1 complex-containing supercomplexes, especially the III2/IV supercomplex. We also demonstrated that the OMA1 metalloprotease cleaves C11orf83 in response to mitochondrial depolarization, suggesting a role in the selection of cells with damaged mitochondria for their subsequent elimination by apoptosis, as previously described for OPA1.

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