Expression of the Yeast Cation Diffusion Facilitators Mmt1 and Mmt2 Affects Mitochondrial and Cellular Iron Homeostasis: Evidence for Mitochondrial Iron Export [Metabolism]

May 5th, 2014 by Li, L., Miao, R., Jia, X., Ward, D. M., Kaplan, J.

Mmt1 and Mmt2 are highly homologous yeast proteins that are the only members of the cation diffusion facilitator transporter family localized to mitochondria. Overexpression of MMT1/2 led to changes in cellular metal homeostasis (increased iron sensitivity, decreased cobalt sensitivity, increased sensitivity to copper), oxidant generation and increased sensitivity to H2O2. The phenotypes due to overexpression of MMT1&2 were similar to that seen in cells with deletions in MRS3 and MRS4, genes that encode the mitochondrial iron importers. Overexpression of MMT1&/2 resulted in induction of the low iron transcriptional response, similar to that seen in ∆mrs3∆mr4 cells. This low iron transcriptional response was suppressed by deletion of CCC1, the gene that encodes the vacuolar iron importer. Measurement of the activity of the iron-dependent gentisate 1,2-dioxygenase from Pseudaminobacter salicylatoxidans expressed in yeast cytosol, showed that changes in Mmt1/2 levels affected cytosol iron concentration even in the absence of Ccc1. Overexpression of MMT1 resulted in increased cytosolic iron while deletion of MMT1/MMT2 led to decreased cytosolic iron. These results support the hypothesis that Mmt1/2 function as mitochondrial iron exporters.
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