Proteolytic regulation of mitochondrial oxidative phosphorylation components in plants

Biochem Soc Trans. 2022 Jun 30;50(3):1119-1132. doi: 10.1042/BST20220195.


Mitochondrial function relies on the homeostasis and quality control of their proteome, including components of the oxidative phosphorylation (OXPHOS) pathway that generates energy in form of ATP. OXPHOS subunits are under constant exposure to reactive oxygen species due to their oxidation-reduction activities, which consequently make them prone to oxidative damage, misfolding, and aggregation. As a result, quality control mechanisms through turnover and degradation are required for maintaining mitochondrial activity. Degradation of OXPHOS subunits can be achieved through proteomic turnover or modular degradation. In this review, we present multiple protein degradation pathways in plant mitochondria. Specifically, we focus on the intricate turnover of OXPHOS subunits, prior to protein import via cytosolic proteasomal degradation and post import and assembly via intra-mitochondrial proteolysis involving multiple AAA+ proteases. Together, these proteolytic pathways maintain the activity and homeostasis of OXPHOS components.

Keywords: degradation; mitochondria; oxidative phosphorylation; protease; proteolysis; respiratory system.

Publication types

  • Review
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • ATPases Associated with Diverse Cellular Activities / metabolism
  • Mitochondria / metabolism
  • Mitochondrial Proteins / metabolism
  • Oxidative Phosphorylation*
  • Oxidative Stress
  • Proteomics*
  • Reactive Oxygen Species / metabolism


  • Mitochondrial Proteins
  • Reactive Oxygen Species
  • ATPases Associated with Diverse Cellular Activities