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Kolli, Renuka; Engstler, Carina; Akbas, Sebnem; Mower, Jeffrey P.; Soll, Jürgen; Carrie, Chris (2020): The OXA2a Insertase of Arabidopsis Is Required for Cytochrome c Maturation. In: Plant Physiology, Vol. 184, No. 2: pp. 1042-1055
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In yeast (Saccharomyces cerevisiae) and human (Homo sapiens) mitochondria, Oxidase assembly protein1 (Oxa1) is the general insertase for protein insertion from the matrix side into the inner membrane while Cytochrome c oxidase assembly protein18 (Cox18/Oxa2) is specifically involved in the topogenesis of the complex IV subunit, Cox2. Arabidopsis (Arabidopsis thaliana) mitochondria contain four OXA homologs: OXA1a, OXA1b, OXA2a, and OXA2b. OXA2a and OXA2b are unique members of the Oxa1 superfamily, in that they possess a tetratricopeptide repeat (TPR) domain at their C termini. Here, we determined the role of OXA2a by studying viable mutant plants generated by partial complementation of homozygous lethal OXA2a transfer-DNA insertional mutants using the developmentally regulated ABSCISIC ACID INSENSITIVE3 (ABI3) promoter. The ABI3p:OXA2a plants displayed growth retardation due to a reduction in the steady-state abundances of both c-type cytochromes, cytochrome c(1) and cytochrome c. The observed reduction in the steady-state abundance of complex III could be attributed to cytochrome c(1) being one of its subunits. Expression of a soluble heme lyase from an organism with cytochrome c maturation system III could functionally complement the lack of OXA2a. This implies that OXA2a is required for the system I cytochrome c maturation of Arabidopsis. Due to the interaction of OXA2a with Cytochrome c maturation protein CcmF C-terminal-like protein (CCMFC) in a yeast split-ubiquitin based interaction assay, we propose that OXA2a aids in the membrane insertion of CCMFC, which is presumed to form the heme lyase component of the cytochrome c maturation pathway. In contrast with the crucial role played by the TPR domain of OXA2b, the TPR domain of OXA2a is not essential for its functionality.