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J Biol Chem. 2012 Apr 6;287(15):11649-55. doi: 10.1074/jbc.M111.319731. Epub 2012 Feb 17.

NADPH inhibits [2Fe-2S] cluster protein transfer from diabetes drug target MitoNEET to an apo-acceptor protein.

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Department of Chemistry, University of California at San Diego, La Jolla, California 92093, USA.


MitoNEET (mNT) is the founding member of the recently discovered CDGSH family of [2Fe-2S] proteins capable of [2Fe-2S] cluster transfer to apo-acceptor proteins. It is a target of the thiazolidinedione (TZD) class of anti-diabetes drugs whose binding modulate both electron transfer and cluster transfer properties. The [2Fe-2S] cluster in mNT is destabilized upon binding of NADPH, which leads to loss of the [2Fe-2S] cluster to the solution environment. Because mNT is capable of transferring [2Fe-2S] clusters to apo-acceptor proteins, we sought to determine whether NADPH binding also affects cluster transfer. We show that NADPH inhibits transfer of the [2Fe-2S] cluster to an apo-acceptor protein with an inhibition constant (K(i)) of 200 μm, which reflects that of NADPH concentrations expected under physiological conditions. In addition, we determined that the strictly conserved cluster interacting residue Asp-84 in the CDGSH domain is necessary for the NADPH-dependent inhibition of [2Fe-2S] cluster transfer. The most critical cellular function of NADPH is in the maintenance of a pool of reducing equivalents, which is essential to counteract oxidative damage. Taken together, our findings suggest that NADPH can regulate both mNT [2Fe-2S] cluster levels in the cell as well as the ability of the protein to transfer [2Fe-2S] clusters to cytosolic or mitochondrial acceptors.

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