Mitochondria are multifunctional organelles that play a central role in energy metabolism. Owing to the life-essential functions of these organelles, mitochondrial content, quality and dynamics are tightly controlled. Across the species, highly conserved ATP-dependent proteases prevent malfunction of mitochondria through versatile activities. This study focuses on a molecular function of the plant mitochondrial inner membrane-embedded AAA protease (denoted i-AAA) FTSH4, providing its first bona fide substrate. Here, we report that the abundance of the Tim17-2 protein, an essential component of the TIM17:23 translocase (Tim17-2 together with Tim50 and Tim23), is directly controlled by the proteolytic activity of FTSH4. Plants that are lacking functional FTSH4 protease are characterized by significantly enhanced capacity of preprotein import through the TIM17:23-dependent pathway. Taken together, with the observation that FTSH4 prevents accumulation of Tim17-2, our data point towards the role of this i-AAA protease in the regulation of mitochondrial biogenesis in plants.
- Received December 15, 2016.
- Accepted March 1, 2017.
- © 2017. Published by The Company of Biologists Ltd