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Biochimica et Biophysica Acta (BBA)-Biomembranes
Conserved GxxxG and WN motifs of MIC13 are essential for bridging two MICOS subcomplexes
Urbach, J., Kondadi, A. K., David, C., Naha, R., Deinert, K., Reichert, A. S., & Anand, R.
Cristae, Crista junction, Mitochondrial disease, MICOS, Conserved motifs, Mitochondria
Mitochondrial ultrastructure is highly adaptable and undergoes dynamic changes upon physiological and energetic cues. MICOS (mitochondrial contact site and cristae organizing system), a large oligomeric protein complex, maintains mitochondrial ultrastructure as it is required for formation of crista junctions (CJs) and contact sites. MIC13 acts as a critical bridge between two MICOS subcomplexes. Deletion of MIC13 causes loss of CJs resulting in cristae accumulating as concentric rings and specific destabilization of the MIC10-subcomplex. Mutations in MIC13 are associated with infantile lethal mitochondrial hepato-encephalopathy, yet functional regions within MIC13 were not known. To identify and characterize such regions, we systemically generated 20 amino-acids deletion variants across the length of MIC13. While deletion of many of these regions of MIC13 is dispensable for its stability, the N-terminal region and a stretch between amino acid residues 84 and 103 are necessary for the stability and functionality of MIC13. We could further locate conserved motifs within these regions and found that a GxxxG motif in the N-terminal transmembrane segment and an internal WN motif are essential for stability of MIC13, formation of the MIC10-subcomplex, interaction with MIC10- and MIC60-subcomplexes and maintenance of cristae morphology. The GxxxG motif is required for membrane insertion of MIC13. Overall, we systematically found important conserved residues of MIC13 that are required to perform the bridging between the two MICOS subcomplexes. The study improves our understanding of the basic molecular function of MIC13 and has implications for its role in the pathogenesis of a severe mitochondrial disease.