The mitochondrial complexome of Arabidopsis thaliana

Plant J. 2017 Mar;89(6):1079-1092. doi: 10.1111/tpj.13448. Epub 2017 Feb 20.


Mitochondria are central to cellular metabolism and energy conversion. In plants they also enable photosynthesis through additional components and functional flexibility. A majority of those processes relies on the assembly of individual proteins to larger protein complexes, some of which operate as large molecular machines. There has been a strong interest in the makeup and function of mitochondrial protein complexes and protein-protein interactions in plants, but the experimental approaches used typically suffer from selectivity or bias. Here, we present a complexome profiling analysis for leaf mitochondria of the model plant Arabidopsis thaliana for the systematic characterization of protein assemblies. Purified organelle extracts were separated by 1D Blue native (BN) PAGE, a resulting gel lane was dissected into 70 slices (complexome fractions) and proteins in each slice were identified by label free quantitative shot-gun proteomics. Overall, 1359 unique proteins were identified, which were, on average, present in 17 complexome fractions each. Quantitative profiles of proteins along the BN gel lane were aligned by similarity, allowing us to visualize protein assemblies. The data allow re-annotating the subunit compositions of OXPHOS complexes, identifying assembly intermediates of OXPHOS complexes and assemblies of alternative respiratory oxidoreductases. Several protein complexes were discovered that have not yet been reported in plants, such as a 530 kDa Tat complex, 460 and 1000 kDa SAM complexes, a calcium ion uniporter complex (150 kDa) and several PPR protein complexes. We have set up a tailored online resource ( to deposit the data and to allow straightforward access and custom data analyses.

Keywords: Arabidopsis thaliana; PPR proteins; alternative electron transport; complex I; mitochondrial calcium uniporter; mitochondrial metabolism; proteomics; respiratory chain.

MeSH terms

  • Arabidopsis / genetics
  • Arabidopsis / metabolism*
  • Arabidopsis Proteins / genetics
  • Arabidopsis Proteins / metabolism
  • Electrophoresis, Polyacrylamide Gel
  • Mitochondria / genetics
  • Mitochondria / metabolism*
  • Mitochondrial Proteins / genetics
  • Mitochondrial Proteins / metabolism*
  • Oxidoreductases / genetics
  • Oxidoreductases / metabolism
  • Plant Leaves / genetics
  • Plant Leaves / metabolism*
  • Proteomics


  • Arabidopsis Proteins
  • Mitochondrial Proteins
  • Oxidoreductases