Caenorhabditis elegans mitofilin homologs control the morphology of mitochondrial cristae and influence reproduction and physiology

Ji Young Mun, Tae Hoon Lee, Ji Hui Kim, Bum Ho Yoo, Young Yil Bahk, Hyeon Sook Koo, Sung Sik Han

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Human mitofilin is a mitochondrial protein that controls cristae formation. Here, we investigated the role of the Caenorhabditis elegans mitofilin homologs, IMMT-1 and -2, in reproduction, physiology, and mitochondrial cristae formation. Mutation of either immt-1 or immt-2 produced defects in germline development and egg-laying. These defects were exacerbated by the double mutation, which greatly reduced motility, increased levels of reactive oxygen species, decreased mitochondrial mass, and imparted resistance to oxidative stress. Cryo-electron microscopy and electron tomography revealed that each of the single mutations resulted in curved and stacked mitochondrial crista tubules as well as a reduced number of crista junctions. The immt-2 mutation was also associated with the presence of outer mitochondrial membrane pores, which were larger in the double mutant. IMMT-1 and IMMT-2 proteins were localized to the inner mitochondrial membrane, as seen by immunoelectron microscopy, and they behaved as oligomers or large complexes with F1F0 ATP synthase in native polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis. These findings suggest that the two C. elegans mitofilin isoforms have non-overlapping functions in controlling mitochondrial cristae formation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)748-756
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Cellular Physiology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2010 Sep 1


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Physiology
  • Clinical Biochemistry
  • Cell Biology

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