Biochemistry, Department of


Date of this Version



Molecular and Cellular Biology p. 4400–4409 November 2012 Volume 32 Number 21


Copyright 2012 American Society for Microbiology. Used by permission.


The final step in the assembly of the ubiquinol-cytochrome c reductase or bc1 complex involves the insertion of the Rieske Fe/S cluster protein, Rip1. Maturation of Rip1 occurs within the mitochondrial matrix prior to its translocation across the inner membrane (IM) in a process mediated by the Bcs1 ATPase and subsequent insertion into the bc1 complex. Here we show that the matrix protein Mzm1 functions as a Rip1 chaperone, stabilizing Rip1 prior to the translocation step. In the absence of Mzm1, Rip1 is prone to either proteolytic degradation or temperature-induced aggregation. A series of Rip1 truncations were engineered to probe motifs necessary for Mzm1 interaction and Bcs1-mediated translocation of Rip1. The Mzm1 interaction with Rip1 persists in Rip1 variants lacking its transmembrane domain or containing only its C-terminal globular Fe/S domain. Replacement of the globular domain of Rip1 with that of the heterologous folded protein Grx3 abrogated Mzm1 interaction; however, appending the C-terminal 30 residues of Rip1 to the Rip1-Grx3 chimera restored Mzm1 interaction. The Rip1-Grx3 chimera and a Rip1 truncation containing only the N-terminal 92 residues each induced stabilization of the bc1:cytochrome oxidase supercomplex in a Bcs1-dependent manner. However, the Rip1 variants were not stably associated with the supercomplex. The induced supercomplex stabilization by the Rip1 N terminus was independent of Mzm1.