CISD3/MiNT is required for complex I function, mitochondrial integrity, and skeletal muscle maintenance

Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2024 May 28;121(22):e2405123121. doi: 10.1073/pnas.2405123121. Epub 2024 May 23.


Mitochondria play a central role in muscle metabolism and function. A unique family of iron-sulfur proteins, termed CDGSH Iron Sulfur Domain-containing (CISD/NEET) proteins, support mitochondrial function in skeletal muscles. The abundance of these proteins declines during aging leading to muscle degeneration. Although the function of the outer mitochondrial CISD/NEET proteins, CISD1/mitoNEET and CISD2/NAF-1, has been defined in skeletal muscle cells, the role of the inner mitochondrial CISD protein, CISD3/MiNT, is currently unknown. Here, we show that CISD3 deficiency in mice results in muscle atrophy that shares proteomic features with Duchenne muscular dystrophy. We further reveal that CISD3 deficiency impairs the function and structure of skeletal muscles, as well as their mitochondria, and that CISD3 interacts with, and donates its [2Fe-2S] clusters to, complex I respiratory chain subunit NADH Ubiquinone Oxidoreductase Core Subunit V2 (NDUFV2). Using coevolutionary and structural computational tools, we model a CISD3-NDUFV2 complex with proximal coevolving residue interactions conducive of [2Fe-2S] cluster transfer reactions, placing the clusters of the two proteins 10 to 16 Å apart. Taken together, our findings reveal that CISD3/MiNT is important for supporting the biogenesis and function of complex I, essential for muscle maintenance and function. Interventions that target CISD3 could therefore impact different muscle degeneration syndromes, aging, and related conditions.

Keywords: Duchenne muscular dystrophy; NDUFV2; NEET/CISD proteins; complex I; mitochondria.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Electron Transport Complex I* / genetics
  • Electron Transport Complex I* / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Iron-Sulfur Proteins / genetics
  • Iron-Sulfur Proteins / metabolism
  • Mice
  • Mice, Knockout
  • Mitochondria / metabolism
  • Mitochondria, Muscle / metabolism
  • Mitochondrial Proteins* / genetics
  • Mitochondrial Proteins* / metabolism
  • Muscle, Skeletal* / metabolism
  • Muscle, Skeletal* / pathology
  • Muscular Atrophy / genetics
  • Muscular Atrophy / metabolism
  • Muscular Atrophy / pathology
  • Muscular Dystrophy, Duchenne / genetics
  • Muscular Dystrophy, Duchenne / metabolism
  • Muscular Dystrophy, Duchenne / pathology


  • Electron Transport Complex I
  • Mitochondrial Proteins
  • Iron-Sulfur Proteins