MIC OS and phospholipid transfer by Ups2-Mdm35 organize membrane lipid synthesis in mitochondria

Mari J. Aaltonen, Jonathan R. Friedman, Christof Osman, Bénédicte Salin, Jean Paul di Rago, Jodi Nunnari, Thomas Langer, Takashi Tatsuta

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

109 Scopus citations


Mitochondria exert critical functions in cellular lipid metabolism and promote the synthesis of major constituents of cellular membranes, such as phosphatidylethanolamine (PE) and phosphatidylcholine. Here, we demonstrate that the phosphatidylserine decarboxylase Psd1, located in the inner mitochondrial membrane, promotes mitochondrial PE synthesis via two pathways. First, Ups2-Mdm35 complexes (SLMO2-TRI AP1 in humans) serve as phosphatidylserine (PS)-specific lipid transfer proteins in the mitochondrial intermembrane space, allowing formation of PE by Psd1 in the inner membrane. Second, Psd1 decarboxylates PS in the outer membrane in trans, independently of PS transfer by Ups2-Mdm35. This latter pathway requires close apposition between both mitochondrial membranes and the mitochondrial contact site and cristae organizing system (MIC OS). In MIC OS-deficient cells, limiting PS transfer by Ups2-Mdm35 and reducing mitochondrial PE accumulation preserves mitochondrial respiration and cristae formation. These results link mitochondrial PE metabolism to MIC OS, combining functions in protein and lipid homeostasis to preserve mitochondrial structure and function.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)525-534
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Cell Biology
Issue number5
StatePublished - 2016
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cell Biology


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