Research ArticleCELL BIOLOGY

BAP31 regulates mitochondrial function via interaction with Tom40 within ER-mitochondria contact sites

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Science Advances  12 Jun 2019:
Vol. 5, no. 6, eaaw1386
DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.aaw1386


The endoplasmic reticulum (ER) is composed of large membrane-bound compartments, and its membrane subdomain appears to be in close contact with mitochondria via ER-mitochondria contact sites. Here, I demonstrate that the ER membrane protein, BAP31, acts as a key factor in mitochondrial homeostasis to stimulate the constitution of the mitochondrial complex I by forming an ER-mitochondria bridging protein complex. Within this complex, BAP31 interacts with mitochondria-localized proteins, including Tom40, to stimulate the translocation of NDUFS4, the component of complex I from the cytosol to the mitochondria. Disruption of the BAP31-Tom40 complex inhibits mitochondrial complex I activity and oxygen consumption by the decreased NDUFS4 localization to the mitochondria. Thus, the BAP31-Tom40 ER-mitochondria bridging complex mediates the regulation of mitochondrial function and plays a role as a previously unidentified stress sensor, representing a mechanism for the establishment of ER-mitochondria communication via contact sites between these organelles.

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