Biol Rev Camb Philos Soc 2018 05 20;93(2):827-844. Epub 2017 Sep 20.
Aix Marseille Université, CNRS, IBDM, 13284, Marseille Cedex 07, France.
In yeast, a sequence of physical and genetic interactions termed the endoplasmic reticulum (ER)-mitochondria organizing network (ERMIONE) controls mitochondria-ER interactions and mitochondrial biogenesis. Several functions that characterize ERMIONE complexes are conserved in mammalian cells, suggesting that a similar tethering complex must exist in metazoans. Recent studies have identified a new family of nuclear-encoded ATPases associated with diverse cellular activities (AAA+-ATPase) mitochondrial membrane proteins specific to multicellular eukaryotes, called the ATPase family AAA domain-containing protein 3 (ATAD3) proteins (ATAD3A and ATAD3B). These proteins are crucial for normal mitochondrial-ER interactions and lie at the heart of processes underlying mitochondrial biogenesis. ATAD3A orthologues have been studied in flies, worms, and mammals, highlighting the widespread importance of this gene during embryonic development and in adulthood. ATAD3A is a downstream effector of target of rapamycin (TOR) signalling in Drosophila and exhibits typical features of proteins from the ERMIONE-like complex in metazoans. In humans, mutations in the ATAD3A gene represent a new link between altered mitochondrial-ER interaction and recognizable neurological syndromes. The primate-specific ATAD3B protein is a biomarker of pluripotent embryonic stem cells. Through negative regulation of ATAD3A function, ATAD3B supports mitochondrial stemness properties.