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    Saccharomyces cerevisiae cells lacking the yeast frataxin homologue (Δyfh1) accumulate iron in the mitochondria in the form of nanoparticles of ferric phosphate. The phosphate content of Δyfh1 mitochondria was higher than that of wild-type mitochondria, but the proportion of mitochondrial phosphate that was soluble was much lower in Δyfh1 cells. The rates of phosphate and iron uptake in vitro by isolated mitochondria were higher for Δyfh1 than wild-type mitochondria, and a significant proportion of the phosphate and iron rapidly became insoluble in the mitochondrial matrix, suggesting co-precipitation of these species after oxidation of iron by oxygen. Increasing the amount of phosphate in the medium decreased the amount of iron accumulated by Δyfh1 cells and improved their growth in an iron-dependent manner, and this effect was mostly transcriptional. Overexpressing the major mitochondrial phosphate carrier, MIR1, slightly increased the concentration of soluble mitochondrial phosphate and significantly improved various mitochondrial functions (cytochromes, [Fe-S] clusters, and respiration) in Δyfh1 cells. We conclude that in Δyfh1 cells, soluble phosphate is limiting, due to its co-precipitation with iron.


    Alexandra Seguin, Renata Santos, Debkumar Pain, Andrew Dancis, Jean-Michel Camadro, Emmanuel Lesuisse. Co-precipitation of phosphate and iron limits mitochondrial phosphate availability in Saccharomyces cerevisiae lacking the yeast frataxin homologue (YFH1). The Journal of biological chemistry. 2011 Feb 25;286(8):6071-9

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    PMID: 21189251

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