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J Biol Chem. 2007 Nov 16;282(46):33242-6. Epub 2007 Sep 27.

Crystallographic studies of human MitoNEET.

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  • 1National Key Laboratory of Macrobiomolecule, Center for Structural and Molecular Biology, Institute of Biophysics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100101, P. R. China.


MitoNEET was identified as an outer mitochondrial membrane protein that can potentially bind the anti-diabetes drug pioglitazone. The crystal structure of the cytoplasmic mitoNEET (residues 33-108) is determined in this study. The structure presents a novel protein fold and contains a [2Fe-2S] cluster-binding domain. The [2Fe-2S] cluster is coordinated to the protein by Cys-72, Cys-74, Cys-83, and His-87 residues. This coordination is also novel compared with the traditional [2Fe-2S] cluster coordinated by four cysteines or two cysteines and two histidines. The cytoplasmic mitoNEET forms homodimers in solution and in crystal. The dimerization is mainly mediated by hydrophobic interactions as well as hydrogen bonds coordinated by two water molecules binding at the interface. His-87 residue, which plays an important role in the coordination of the [2Fe-2S] cluster, is exposed to the solvent on the dimer surface. It is proposed that mitoNEET dimer may interact with other proteins via the surface residues in close proximity to the [2Fe-2S] cluster.

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