The Journal of biological chemistry

Riboflavin uptake and FAD synthesis in Saccharomyces cerevisiae mitochondria: involvement of the Flx1p carrier in FAD export.

PMID 14555654


We have studied the functional steps by which Saccharomyces cerevisiae mitochondria can synthesize FAD from cytosolic riboflavin (Rf). Riboflavin uptake into mitochondria took place via a mechanism that is consistent with the existence of (at least two) carrier systems. FAD was synthesized inside mitochondria by a mitochondrial FAD synthetase (EC, and it was exported into the cytosol via an export system that was inhibited by lumiflavin, and which was different from the riboflavin uptake system. To understand the role of the putative mitochondrial FAD carrier, Flx1p, in this pathway, an flx1Delta mutant strain was constructed. Coupled mitochondria isolated from flx1Delta mutant cells were compared with wild-type mitochondria with respect to the capability to take up Rf, to synthesize FAD from it, and to export FAD into the extramitochondrial phase. Mitochondria isolated from flx1Delta mutant cells specifically lost the ability to export FAD, but did not lose the ability to take up Rf, FAD, or FMN and to synthesize FAD from Rf. Hence, Flx1p is proposed to be the mitochondrial FAD export carrier. Moreover, deletion of the FLX1 gene resulted in a specific reduction of the activities of mitochondrial lipoamide dehydrogenase and succinate dehydrogenase, which are FAD-binding enzymes. For the flavoprotein subunit of succinate dehydrogenase we could demonstrate that this was not due to a changed level of mitochondrial FAD or to a change in the degree of flavinylation of the protein. Instead, the amount of the flavoprotein subunit of succinate dehydrogenase was strongly reduced, indicating an additional regulatory role for Flx1p in protein synthesis or degradation.