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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

An enzyme in yeast mitochondria that catalyzes a step in branched-chain amino acid biosynthesis also functions in mitochondrial DNA stability.

The yeast mitochondrial high mobility group protein Abf2p is required, under certain growth conditions, for the maintenance of wild-type (rho+) mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA). We have identified a multicopy suppressor of the mtDNA instability phenotype of cells with a null allele of the ABF2 gene (delta abf2). The suppressor is a known gene, ILV5, encoding the mitochondrial protein, acetohydroxy acid reductoisomerase, which catalyzes a step in branched-chain amino acid biosynthesis. Efficient suppression occurs with just a 2- to 3-fold increase in ILV5 copy number. Moreover, in delta abf2 cells with a single copy of ILV5, changes in mtDNA stability correlate directly with changes in conditions that are known to affect ILV5 expression. Wild-type mtDNA is unstable in cells with an ILV5 null mutation (delta ilv5), leading to the production of mostly rho- petite mutants. The instability of rho+ mtDNA in delta ilv5 cells is not simply a consequence of a block in branched-chain amino acid biosynthesis, since mtDNA is stable in cells with a null allele of the ILV2 gene, which encodes another enzyme of that pathway. The most severe instability of rho+ mtDNA is observed in cells with null alleles of both ABF2 and ILV5. We suggest that ILV5 encodes a bifunctional protein required for branched-chain amino acid biosynthesis and for the maintenance of rho+ mtDNA.[1]


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