Monomer DJ-1 and its N-terminal sequence are necessary for mitochondrial localization of DJ-1 mutants

Chinatsu Maita, Hiroshi Maita, Sanae M M Iguchi-Ariga, Hiroyoshi Ariga
PloS One 2013, 8 (1): e54087
DJ-1 is a novel oncogene and also a causative gene for familial Parkinson's disease (park7). DJ-1 has multiple functions that include transcriptional regulation, anti-oxidative reaction and chaperone and mitochondrial regulation. Mitochondrial dysfunction is observed in DJ-1-knockout mice and fry, and mitochondrial DJ-1 is more protective against oxidative stress-induced cell death. Although translocation of DJ-1 into mitochondria is enhanced by oxidative stress that leads to oxidation of cysteine 106 (C106) of DJ-1, the characteristics of mitochondrial DJ-1 and the mechanism by which DJ-1 is translocated into mitochondria are poorly understood. In this study, immunostaining, co-immunoprecipitation, cell fractionation and pull-down experiments showed that mutants of glutamine 18 (E18) DJ-1 are localized in mitochondria and do not make homodimers. Likewise, DJ-1 with mutations of two cysteines located in the dimer interface, C46S and C53A, and pathogenic mutants, M26I and L166P DJ-1, were found to be localized in mitochondria and not to make homodimers. Mutant DJ-1 harboring both E18A and C106S, in which C106 is not oxidized, was also localized in mitochondria, indicating that oxidation of C106 is important but not essential for mitochondrial localization of DJ-1. It should be noted that E18A DJ-1 was translocated from mitochondria to the cytoplasm when mitochondrial membrane potential was reduced by treatment of cells with CCCP, an uncoupler of the oxidative phosphorylation system in mitochondria. Furthermore, deletion or substitution of the N-terminal 12 amino acids in DJ-1 resulted in re-localization of E18A, M26I and L166P DJ-1 from mitochondria into the cytoplasm. These findings suggest that a monomer and the N-terminal 12 amino acids are necessary for mitochondrial localization of DJ-1 mutants and that conformation change induced by C106 oxidation or by E18 mutation leads to translocation of DJ-1 into mitochondria.

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