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J Biol Chem. 2002 Nov 15;277(46):43792-8. Epub 2002 Sep 11.

A higher plant mitochondrial homologue of the yeast m-AAA protease. Molecular cloning, localization, and putative function.

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Institute of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, University of Wroclaw, Tamka 2, Poland.


Mitochondrial AAA metalloproteases play a fundamental role in mitochondrial biogenesis and function. They have been identified in yeast and animals but not yet in plants. This work describes the isolation and sequence analysis of the full-length cDNA from the pea (Pisum sativum) with significant homology to the yeast matrix AAA (m-AAA) protease. The product of this clone was imported into isolated pea mitochondria where it was processed to its mature form (PsFtsH). We have shown that the central region of PsFtsH containing the chaperone domain is exposed to the matrix space. Furthermore, we have demonstrated that the pea protease can complement respiration deficiency in the yta10 and/or yta12 null yeast mutants, indicating that the plant protein can compensate for the loss of at least some of the important m-AAA functions in yeast. Based on biochemical experiments using isolated pea mitochondria, we propose that PsFtsH-like m-AAA is involved in the accumulation of the subunit 9 of the ATP synthase in the mitochondrial membrane.

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