Biochemistry, Department of


Document Type


Date of this Version



MOLECULAR AND CELLULAR BIOLOGY, Aug. 2008, p. 4927–4939 Vol. 28, No. 16


Copyright © 2008, American Society for Microbiology. All Rights Reserved.


The assembly of cytochrome c oxidase (CcO) in yeast mitochondria is dependent on a new assembly factor designated Coa2. Coa2 was identified from its ability to suppress the respiratory deficiency of coa1 Δ and shy1 Δ cells. Coa1 and Shy1 function at an early step in maturation of the Cox1 subunit of CcO. Coa2 functions downstream of the Mss51-Coa1 step in Cox1 maturation and likely concurrent with the Shy1-related heme a3 insertion into Cox1. Coa2 interacts with Shy1. Cells lacking Coa2 show a rapid degradation of newly synthesized Cox1. Rapid Cox1 proteolysis also occurs in shy1 Δ cells, suggesting that in the absence of Coa2 or Shy1, Cox1 forms an unstable conformer. Overexpression of Cox10 or Cox5a and Cox6 or attenuation of the proteolytic activity of the m-AAA protease partially restores respiration in coa2 Δ cells. The matrix-localized Coa2 protein may aid in stabilizing an early Cox1 intermediate containing the nuclear subunits Cox5a and Cox6.