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J Biol Chem. 2011 Sep 16;286(37):32086-93. doi: 10.1074/jbc.M111.221986. Epub 2011 Jul 19.

Nitric oxide-associated protein 1 (NOA1) is necessary for oxygen-dependent regulation of mitochondrial respiratory complexes.

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Department of Cardiac Development and Remodeling, Max-Planck-Institute for Heart and Lung Research, Ludwigstrasse 43, 61231 Bad Nauheim, Germany.


In eukaryotic cells, maintenance of cellular ATP stores depends mainly on mitochondrial oxidative phosphorylation (OXPHOS), which in turn requires sufficient cellular oxygenation. The crucial role of proper oxygenation for cellular viability is reflected by involvement of several mechanisms, which sense hypoxia and regulate activities of respiratory complexes according to available oxygen concentrations. Here, we focus on mouse nitric oxide-associated protein 1 (mNOA1), which has been identified as an important component of the machinery that adjusts OXPHOS activity to oxygen concentrations. mNOA1 is an evolutionary conserved GTP-binding protein that is involved in the regulation of mitochondrial protein translation and respiration. We found that mNOA1 is located mostly in the mitochondrial matrix from where it interacts with several high molecular mass complexes, most notably with the complex IV of the respiratory chain and the prohibitin complex. Knock-down of mNOA1 impaired enzyme activity I+III, resulting in oxidative stress and eventually cell death. mNOA1 is transcriptionally regulated in an oxygen-sensitive manner. We propose that oxygen-dependent regulation of mNOA1 is instrumental to adjusting OXPHOS activity to oxygen availability, thereby controlling mitochondrial metabolism.

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