Product(s) used in this publication: Reference Peptides for Targeted Proteomics - SpikeTides™ & SpikeMix™
Yeast frataxin homolog (Yfh1) is the orthologue of human frataxin, a mitochondrial protein whose deficiency causes Friedreich Ataxia. Yfh1 deficiency activates Aft1, a transcription factor governing iron homeostasis in yeast cells. Although the mechanisms causing this activation are not completely understood, it is assumed that it may be caused by iron-sulfur deficiency. However, several evidences indicate that activation of Aft1 occurs in the absence of iron-sulfur deficiency. Besides, Yfh1 deficiency also leads to metabolic remodeling (mainly consisting in a shift from respiratory to fermentative metabolism) and to induction of Yhb1, a nitric oxide (NO) detoxifying enzyme. In this work, we have used conditional Yfh1 mutant yeast strains to investigate the relationship between NO, Aft1 activation and metabolic remodeling. We have observed that NO prevents Aft1 activation caused by Yfh1 deficiency. This phenomenon is not observed when Aft1 is activated by iron scarcity or impaired iron-sulfur biogenesis. In addition, analyzing key metabolic proteins by a targeted proteomics approach, we have observed that NO prevents the metabolic remodeling caused by Yfh1 deficiency. We conclude that Aft1 activation in Yfh1-deficient yeasts is not caused by iron-sulfur deficiency or iron scarcity. Our hypothesis is that Yfh1 deficiency leads to the presence of anomalous iron species that can compromise iron bioavailability and activate a signaling cascade that results in Aft1 activation and metabolic remodeling.