Cell reports

Impaired p32 regulation caused by the lymphoma-prone RECQ4 mutation drives mitochondrial dysfunction.

PMID 24746816


Mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) encodes proteins that are important for ATP biogenesis. Therefore, changes in mtDNA copy number will have profound consequences on cell survival and proliferation. RECQ4 DNA helicase participates in both nuclear DNA and mtDNA synthesis. However, the mechanism that balances the distribution of RECQ4 in the nucleus and mitochondria is unknown. Here, we show that RECQ4 forms protein complexes with Protein Phosphatase 2A (PP2A), nucleophosmin (NPM), and mitochondrial p32 in different cellular compartments. Critically, the interaction with p32 negatively controls the transport of both RECQ4 and its chromatin-associated replication factor, MCM10, from the nucleus to mitochondria. Amino acids that are deleted in the most common cancer-associated RECQ4 mutation are required for the interaction with p32. Hence, this RECQ4 mutant, which is no longer regulated by p32 and is enriched in the mitochondria, interacts with the mitochondrial replication helicase PEO1 and induces abnormally high levels of mtDNA synthesis.