9.B.177 The Tripartite Attachment Complex 40 (TAC40) Family
Trypanosoma brucei has a single mitochondrion whose single-unit genome is physically connected to the flagellum. Schnarwiler et al. 2014 identified a β-barrel mitochondrial outer membrane protein, termed tripartite attachment complex 40 (TAC40), that localizes to this connection. TAC40 is essential for mitochondrial DNA inheritance and belongs to the mitochondrial porin protein family (CDD/Pfam Porin3). It is not closely related to any of the three subclasses of mitochondrial porins represented by the metabolite transporter voltage-dependent anion channel (VDAC), the protein translocator of the outer membrane 40 (TOM40), or the fungi-specific MDM10, a component of the endoplasmic reticulum-mitochondria encounter structure (ERMES). MDM10 and TAC40 mediate cellular architecture and participate in transmembrane complexes that are essential for mitochondrial DNA inheritance. In yeast, MDM10 is postulated to connect the mitochondrial genomes to actin filaments, whereas in trypanosomes, TAC40 mediates the linkage of the mitochondrial DNA to the basal body of the flagellum. However, TAC40 does not colocalize with trypanosomal orthologs of ERMES components and, unlike MDM10, it regulates neither mitochondrial morphology nor the assembly of the protein translocase. TAC40 therefore defines a novel subclass of mitochondrial porins that is distinct from VDAC, TOM40, and MDM10. Whereas the architecture of the TAC40-containing complex in trypanosomes and the MDM10-containing ERMES in yeast is very different, both are organized around a β-barrel protein of the mitochondrial porin family that mediates a DNA-cytoskeleton linkage that is essential for mitochondrial DNA inheritance (Schnarwiler et al. 2014).