Author response: Mitochondrial copper and phosphate transporter specificity was defined early in the evolution of eukaryotes [peer_review]

Xinyu Zhu, Aren Boulet, Katherine M Buckley, Casey B Phillips, Micah G Gammon, Laura E Oldfather, Stanley A Moore, Scot C Leary, Paul A Cobine
2021 unpublished
The mitochondrial carrier family protein SLC25A3 transports both copper and phosphate in mammals, yet in Saccharomyces cerevisiae the transport of these substrates is partitioned across two paralogs: PIC2 and MIR1. To understand the ancestral state of copper and phosphate transport in mitochondria, we explored the evolutionary relationships of PIC2 and MIR1 orthologs across the eukaryotic tree of life. Phylogenetic analyses revealed that PIC2-like and MIR1-like orthologs are present in all
more » ... eukaryotic supergroups, indicating an ancient gene duplication created these paralogs. To link this phylogenetic signal to protein function, we used structural modeling and site-directed mutagenesis to identify residues involved in copper and phosphate transport. Based on these analyses, we generated an L175A variant of mouse SLC25A3 that retains the ability to transport copper but not phosphate. This work highlights the utility of using an evolutionary framework to uncover amino acids involved in substrate recognition by mitochondrial carrier family proteins. Zhu, Boulet, Buckley, et al. eLife 2021;10:e64690.
doi:10.7554/elife.64690.sa2 fatcat:v5ye2o7vc5hsbdjp5l2a2jyr5q