The human dynamin-related protein OPA1 is anchored to the mitochondrial inner membrane facing the inter-membrane space

FEBS Lett. 2002 Jul 17;523(1-3):171-6. doi: 10.1016/s0014-5793(02)02985-x.


Mutations in the OPA1 gene are associated with autosomal dominant optic atrophy. OPA1 encodes a dynamin-related protein orthologous to Msp1 of Schizosaccharomyces pombe and Mgm1p of Saccharomyces cerevisiae, both involved in mitochondrial morphology and genome maintenance. We present immuno-fluorescence and biochemical evidences showing that OPA1 resides in the mitochondria where it is imported through its highly basic amino-terminal extension. Proteolysis experiments indicate that OPA1 is present in the inter-membrane space and electron microscopy further localizes it close to the cristae. The strong association of OPA1 with membranes suggests its anchoring to the inner membrane.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • 3T3 Cells
  • Animals
  • Dynamins
  • Fluorescent Antibody Technique
  • GTP Phosphohydrolases / metabolism*
  • HeLa Cells
  • Humans
  • Intracellular Membranes / enzymology*
  • Intracellular Membranes / metabolism
  • Mice
  • Microscopy, Electron
  • Mitochondria / enzymology*
  • Mitochondria / metabolism
  • Rats


  • GTP Phosphohydrolases
  • OPA1 protein, human
  • Opa1 protein, mouse
  • Opa1 protein, rat
  • Dynamins