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Cryo-electron microscopy reveals how acetogenins inhibit mitochondrial respiratory complex I

DOI: 10.1016/j.jbc.2022.101602 DOI Help

Authors: Daniel Grba (University of Cambridge) , James N. Blaza (University of Cambridge; University of York) , Hannah R. Bridges (University of Cambridge) , Ahmed-Nnoor A. Agip (University of Cambridge) , Zhan Yin (University of Cambridge) , Masatoshi Murai (Kyoto University) , Hideto Miyoshi (Kyoto University) , Judy Hirst (University of Cambridge)
Co-authored by industrial partner: No

Type: Journal Paper
Journal: Journal Of Biological Chemistry , VOL 82

State: Published (Approved)
Published: January 2022
Diamond Proposal Number(s): 18074

Open Access Open Access

Abstract: Mitochondrial complex I (NADH:ubiquinone oxidoreductase), a crucial enzyme in energy metabolism, captures the redox potential energy from NADH oxidation and ubiquinone reduction to create the proton motive force used to drive ATP synthesis in oxidative phosphorylation. Recent high-resolution cryo-EM analyses have provided detailed structural knowledge of the catalytic machinery of complex I, but not of the molecular principles of its energy transduction mechanism. Although ubiquinone is considered to bind in a long channel at the interface of the membrane-embedded and hydrophilic domains, and channel residues are likely involved in coupling substrate reduction to proton translocation, no structures with the channel fully occupied have yet been described. Here, we report the cryo-EM structure of mouse complex I with an extremely tight-binding natural-product acetogenin inhibitor, which resembles the native substrate, bound along the full length of the expected ubiquinone-binding channel. Our structure reveals the mode of acetogenin binding and the molecular basis for structure–activity relationships within the acetogenin family. It also shows that acetogenins are such potent inhibitors because they are highly hydrophobic molecules that contain two specific hydrophilic moieties ideally spaced to lock into two hydrophilic regions of the otherwise hydrophobic channel. The central hydrophilic section of the channel does not favor binding of the isoprenoid chain when the native substrate is fully bound, but stabilises the ubiquinone/ubiquinol headgroup as it transits to/from the active site. Therefore, the amphipathic nature of the channel supports both tight binding of the amphipathic inhibitor and rapid exchange of the ubiquinone/ubiquinol substrate and product.

Journal Keywords: complex I; cryo-electron microscopy; acetogenin; inhibitor-bound structure; binding site

Diamond Keywords: Enzymes

Subject Areas: Biology and Bio-materials, Chemistry

Diamond Offline Facilities: Electron Bio-Imaging Centre (eBIC)
Instruments: Krios III-Titan Krios III at Diamond

Added On: 24/01/2022 10:46

Discipline Tags:

Biochemistry Chemistry Structural biology Life Sciences & Biotech

Technical Tags:

Microscopy Electron Microscopy (EM) Cryo Electron Microscopy (Cryo EM)