Mitochondrial synthesis of cardiolipin (CL) and phosphatidylethanolamine requires the transport of their precursors, phosphatidic acid and phosphatidylserine, respectively, to the mitochondrial inner membrane. In yeast, the Ups1–Mdm35 and Ups2–Mdm35 complexes transfer phosphatidic acid and phosphatidylserine, respectively, between the mitochondrial outer and inner membranes. Moreover, a Ups1-independent CL accumulation pathway requires several mitochondrial proteins with unknown functions including Mdm31. Here, we identified a mitochondrial porin, Por1, as a protein that interacts with both Mdm31 and Mdm35 in budding yeast (Saccharomyces cerevisiae). Depletion of the porins Por1 and Por2 destabilized Ups1 and Ups2, decreased CL levels by 90%, and caused loss of Ups2-dependent phosphatidylethanolamine synthesis, but did not affect Ups2-independent phosphatidylethanolamine synthesis in mitochondria. Por1 mutations that affected its interactions with Mdm31 and Mdm35, but not respiratory growth, also decreased CL levels. Using HeLa cells, we show that mammalian porins also function in mitochondrial CL metabolism. We conclude that yeast porins have specific and critical functions in mitochondrial phospholipid metabolism and that porin-mediated regulation of CL metabolism appears to be evolutionarily conserved.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Molecular Biology
- Cell Biology