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Nucleic Acids Res. 2011 Aug;39(14):6002-15. doi: 10.1093/nar/gkr193. Epub 2011 Apr 21.

Zim17/Tim15 links mitochondrial iron-sulfur cluster biosynthesis to nuclear genome stability.

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  • 1Centro Andaluz de Biología Molecular y Medicina Regenerativa CABIMER, Universidad de Sevilla-CSIC, Avd Américo Vespucio, 41092 Sevilla, Spain.


Genomic instability is related to a wide-range of human diseases. Here, we show that mitochondrial iron-sulfur cluster biosynthesis is important for the maintenance of nuclear genome stability in Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Cells lacking the mitochondrial chaperone Zim17 (Tim15/Hep1), a component of the iron-sulfur biosynthesis machinery, have limited respiration activity, mimic the metabolic response to iron starvation and suffer a dramatic increase in nuclear genome recombination. Increased oxidative damage or deficient DNA repair do not account for the observed genomic hyperrecombination. Impaired cell-cycle progression and genetic interactions of ZIM17 with components of the RFC-like complex involved in mitotic checkpoints indicate that replicative stress causes hyperrecombination in zim17Δ mutants. Furthermore, nuclear accumulation of pre-ribosomal particles in zim17Δ mutants reinforces the importance of iron-sulfur clusters in normal ribosome biosynthesis. We propose that compromised ribosome biosynthesis and cell-cycle progression are interconnected, together contributing to replicative stress and nuclear genome instability in zim17Δ mutants.

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