Format of Original
American Society for Microbiology
Molecular and Cellular Biology
Original Item ID
doi: 10.1128/MCB.06369-11; PubMed Central, PMCID: PMC3318584
We report that Rcf1 (formerly Aim31), a member of the conserved hypoxia-induced gene 1 (Hig1) protein family, represents a novel component of the yeast cytochrome bc1-cytochrome c oxidase (COX) supercomplex. Rcf1 (respiratory supercomplex factor 1) partitions with the COX complex, and evidence that it may act as a bridge to the cytochrome bc1 complex is presented. Rcf1 interacts with the Cox3 subunit and can do so prior to their assembly into the COX complex. A close proximity of Rcf1 and members of the ADP/ATP carrier (AAC) family was also established. Rcf1 displays overlapping function with another Hig1-related protein, Rcf2 (formerly Aim38), and their joint presence is required for optimal COX enzyme activity and the correct assembly of the cytochrome bc1-COX supercomplex. Rcf1 and Rcf2 can independently associate with the cytochrome bc1-COX supercomplex, indicating that at least two forms of this supercomplex exist within mitochondria. We provide evidence that the association with the cytochrome bc1-COX supercomplex and regulation of the COX complex are a conserved feature of Hig1 family members. Based on our findings, we propose a model where the Hig1 proteins regulate the COX enzyme activity through Cox3 and associated Cox12 protein, in a manner that may be influenced by the neighboring AAC proteins.