Molecules of single proteins, echoforms, can be distributed between two (or more) subcellular locations, a phenomenon which we refer to as dual targeting or dual localization. The yeast aconitase gene ACO1 (778 amino acids), encodes a single translation product that is nonetheless dual localized to the cytosol and mitochondria by a reverse translocation mechanism. The solved crystal structure of aconitase isolated from porcine heart mitochondria shows that it has four domains. The first three tightly associated N-terminal domains are tethered to the larger C-terminal fourth domain (C-terminal amino acids 517-778). We have previously shown that the aconitase C terminal domain constitutes an independent dual targeting signal when fused to mitochondria-targeted passenger-proteins. We show that the aconitase N and C-terminal domains interact and that this interaction is important for efficient aconitase post translational import into mitochondria and for aconitase dual targeting (relative levels of aconitase echoforms). Our results suggest a "chaperone-like function" of the C terminal domain towards the N terminal domains which can be modulated by Ssa1/2 (cytosolic Hsp70).
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This work was supported by grants to O. Pines from the Israel Science Foundation (ISF), the German Israeli Project Cooperation (DIP), the CREATE Project of the National Research Foundation of Singapore and the Pakula Family (via the American Friends of the Hebrew University). R. Ben-Menachem was supported by the Eliyahu Pen Dedicated Fund.
© 2018 The Author(s).