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EMBO J. 2007 Oct 17;26(20):4347-58. Epub 2007 Sep 20.

Shy1 couples Cox1 translational regulation to cytochrome c oxidase assembly.

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  • 1Institut für Biochemie und Molekularbiologie, Zentrum für Biochemie und Molekulare Zellforschung, Universität Freiburg, Freiburg, Germany.


Cytochrome c oxidase (complex IV) of the respiratory chain is assembled from nuclear and mitochondrially-encoded subunits. Defects in the assembly process lead to severe human disorders such as Leigh syndrome. Shy1 is an assembly factor for complex IV in Saccharomyces cerevisiae and mutations of its human homolog, SURF1, are the most frequent cause for Leigh syndrome. We report that Shy1 promotes complex IV biogenesis through association with different protein modules; Shy1 interacts with Mss51 and Cox14, translational regulators of Cox1. Additionally, Shy1 associates with the subcomplexes of complex IV that are potential assembly intermediates. Formation of these subcomplexes depends on Coa1 (YIL157c), a novel assembly factor that cooperates with Shy1. Moreover, partially assembled forms of complex IV bound to Shy1 and Cox14 can associate with the bc1 complex to form transitional supercomplexes. We suggest that Shy1 links Cox1 translational regulation to complex IV assembly and supercomplex formation.

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