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Inactivation of Mitochondrial Complex I Induces the Expression of a Twin Cysteine Protein that Targets and Affects Cytosolic, Chloroplastidic and Mitochondrial Function

  • Yan Wang
  • Wenhui Lyu
  • Oliver Berkowitz
  • Jordan D Radomiljac
  • Simon R Law
  • Monika W Murcha
  • Chris Carrie
  • Pedro F Teixeira
  • Beata Kmiec
  • Owen Duncan
  • Olivier Van Aken
  • Reena Narsai
  • Elzbieta Glaser
  • Shaobai Huang
  • Ute Roessner
  • A. Harvey Millar
  • James Whelan
Publishing year: 2016-05-02
Language: English
Pages: 696-710
Publication/Series: Molecular Plant
Volume: 9
Issue: 5
Document type: Journal article
Publisher: Oxford University Press

Abstract english

At12Cys-1 (At5g64400) and At12Cys-2 (At5g09570) are two closely related isogenes that encode small, twin cysteine proteins, typically located in mitochondria. At12Cys-2 transcript is induced in a variety of mutants with disrupted mitochondrial proteins, but an increase in At12Cys protein is only detected in mutants with reduced mitochondrial complex I abundance. Induction of At12Cys protein in mutants that lack mitochondrial complex I is accompanied by At12Cys protein located in mitochondria, chloroplasts, and the cytosol. Biochemical analyses revealed that even single gene deletions, i.e., At12cys-1 or At12cys-2, have an effect on mitochondrial and chloroplast functions. However, only double mutants, i.e., At12cys-1:At12cys-2, affect the abundance of protein and mRNA transcripts encoding translation elongation factors as well as rRNA abundance. Blue native PAGE showed that At12Cys co-migrated with mitochondrial supercomplex I + III. Likewise, deletion of both At12cys-1 and At12cys-2 genes, but not single gene deletions, results in enhanced tolerance to drought and light stress and increased anti-oxidant capacity. The induction and multiple localization of At12Cys upon a reduction in complex I abundance provides a mechanism to specifically signal mitochondrial dysfunction to the cytosol and then beyond to other organelles in the cell.


  • Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
  • mitochondria
  • complex I
  • retrograde signaling
  • chloroplast
  • cytosol


  • ISSN: 1752-9867
Olivier van Aken
E-mail: olivier [dot] van_aken [at] biol [dot] lu [dot] se

Senior lecturer

Molecular Cell Biology

+46 46 222 94 13



Research group

Plant Biology



Doctoral students and postdocs

PhD students, main supervisor

Cuong Tran