The mitochondrial AAA protease FTSH3 regulates Complex I abundance by promoting its disassembly

Aneta Ivanova, Abi S Ghifari, Oliver Berkowitz, James Whelan, Monika W Murcha

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Web of Science)


ATP is generated in mitochondria by oxidative phosphorylation. Complex I (NADH:ubiquinone oxidoreductase or NADH dehydrogenase) is the first multisubunit protein complex of this pathway, oxidising NADH and transferring electrons to the ubiquinone pool. Typically Complex I mutants display a slow growth rate compared to wild-type plants. Here, using a forward genetic screen approach for restored growth of a Complex I mutant, we have identified the mitochondrial ATP dependent metalloprotease, Filamentous Temperature Sensitive H 3 (FTSH3), as a factor that is required for the disassembly of Complex I. An ethyl methanesulfonate-induced mutation in FTSH3, named rmb1 (restoration of mitochondrial biogenesis 1), restored Complex I abundance and plant growth. Complementation could be achieved with FTSH3 lacking proteolytic activity, suggesting the unfoldase function of FTSH3 has a role in Complex I disassembly. The introduction of the rmb1 to an additional, independent, and extensively characterised Complex I mutant, ndufs4, resulted in similar increases to Complex I abundance and a partial restoration of growth. These results show that disassembly or degradation of Complex I plays a role in determining its steady-state abundance and thus turnover may vary under different conditions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)599-610
JournalPlant Physiology
Issue number1
Early online date22 Feb 2021
Publication statusPublished - May 2021


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