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    The mitochondrial ADP/ATP carrier (AAC) performs the first and last step in oxidative phosphorylation by exchanging ADP and ATP across the mitochondrial inner membrane. Its optimal function has been shown to be dependent on cardiolipins (CLs), unique phospholipids located almost exclusively in the mitochondrial membrane. In addition, AAC exhibits an enthralling threefold pseudosymmetry, a unique feature of members of the SLC25 family. Recently, its conformation poised for binding of ATP was solved by x-ray crystallography referred to as the matrix state. Binding of the substrate leads to conformational changes that export of ATP to the mitochondrial intermembrane space. In this contribution, we investigate the influence of CLs on the structure, substrate-binding properties, and structural symmetry of the matrix state, employing microsecond-scale molecular dynamics simulations. Our findings demonstrate that CLs play a minor stabilizing role on the AAC structure. The interdomain salt bridges and hydrogen bonds forming the cytoplasmic network and tyrosine braces, which ensure the integrity of the global AAC scaffold, highly benefit from the presence of CLs. Under these conditions, the carrier is found to be organized in a more compact structure in its interior, as revealed by analyses of the electrostatic potential, measure of the AAC cavity aperture, and the substrate-binding assays. Introducing a convenient structure-based symmetry metric, we quantified the structural threefold pseudosymmetry of AAC, not only for the crystallographic structure, but also for conformational states of the carrier explored in the molecular dynamics simulations. Our results suggest that CLs moderately contribute to preserve the pseudosymmetric structure of AAC. Copyright © 2021 Biophysical Society. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.


    Joel José Montalvo-Acosta, Edmund R S Kunji, Jonathan J Ruprecht, François Dehez, Christophe Chipot. Structure, substrate binding, and symmetry of the mitochondrial ADP/ATP carrier in its matrix-open state. Biophysical journal. 2021 Dec 07;120(23):5187-5195

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    PMID: 34748764

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