The mitochondrial intermembrane space-facing proteins Mcp2 and Tgl2 are involved in yeast lipid metabolism

Mol Biol Cell. 2019 Oct 1;30(21):2681-2694. doi: 10.1091/mbc.E19-03-0166. Epub 2019 Sep 4.


Mitochondria are unique organelles harboring two distinct membranes, the mitochondrial inner and outer membrane (MIM and MOM, respectively). Mitochondria comprise only a subset of metabolic pathways for the synthesis of membrane lipids; therefore most lipid species and their precursors have to be imported from other cellular compartments. One such import process is mediated by the ER mitochondria encounter structure (ERMES) complex. Both mitochondrial membranes surround the hydrophilic intermembrane space (IMS). Therefore, additional systems are required that shuttle lipids between the MIM and MOM. Recently, we identified the IMS protein Mcp2 as a high-copy suppressor for cells that lack a functional ERMES complex. To understand better how mitochondria facilitate transport and biogenesis of lipids, we searched for genetic interactions of this suppressor. We found that MCP2 has a negative genetic interaction with the gene TGL2 encoding a neutral lipid hydrolase. We show that this lipase is located in the intermembrane space of the mitochondrion and is imported via the Mia40 disulfide relay system. Furthermore, we show a positive genetic interaction of double deletion of MCP2 and PSD1, the gene encoding the enzyme that synthesizes the major amount of cellular phosphatidylethanolamine. Finally, we demonstrate that the nucleotide-binding motifs of the predicted atypical kinase Mcp2 are required for its proper function. Taken together, our data suggest that Mcp2 is involved in mitochondrial lipid metabolism and an increase of this involvement by overexpression suppresses loss of ERMES.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Endoplasmic Reticulum / metabolism*
  • Epistasis, Genetic
  • Lipase / genetics
  • Lipase / metabolism*
  • Lipid Metabolism*
  • Mitochondrial Membrane Transport Proteins / genetics
  • Mitochondrial Membrane Transport Proteins / metabolism
  • Mitochondrial Membranes / metabolism*
  • Mitochondrial Proteins / genetics
  • Mitochondrial Proteins / metabolism*
  • Phosphatidylethanolamines / metabolism
  • Protein Transport
  • Saccharomyces cerevisiae / genetics
  • Saccharomyces cerevisiae / metabolism*
  • Saccharomyces cerevisiae Proteins / genetics
  • Saccharomyces cerevisiae Proteins / metabolism*


  • MCP2 protein, S cerevisiae
  • MIA40 protein, S cerevisiae
  • Mitochondrial Membrane Transport Proteins
  • Mitochondrial Proteins
  • Phosphatidylethanolamines
  • Saccharomyces cerevisiae Proteins
  • phosphatidylethanolamine
  • Lipase
  • TGL3 protein, S cerevisiae