Supplementary Material for: High-Conductance Channel Formation in Yeast Mitochondria is Mediated by F-ATP Synthase e and g Subunits

<b><i>Background/Aims:</i></b> The permeability transition pore (PTP) is an unselective, Ca<sup>2+</sup>-dependent high conductance channel of the inner mitochondrial membrane whose molecular identity has long remained a mystery. The most recent hypothesis is that pore formation involves the F-ATP synthase, which consistently generates Ca<sup>2+</sup>-activated channels. Available structures do not display obvious features that can accommodate a channel; thus, how the pore can form and whether its activity can be entirely assigned to F-ATP synthase is the matter of debate. In this study, we investigated the role of F-ATP synthase subunits e, g and b in PTP formation. <b><i>Methods:</i></b> Yeast null mutants for e, g and the first transmembrane (TM) α-helix of subunit b were generated and evaluated for mitochondrial morphology (electron microscopy), membrane potential (Rhodamine123 fluorescence) and respiration (Clark electrode). Homoplasmic C23S mutant of subunit a was generated by <i>in vitro</i> mutagenesis followed by biolistic transformation. F-ATP synthase assembly was evaluated by BN-PAGE analysis. Cu<sup>2+</sup> treatment was used to induce the formation of F-ATP synthase dimers in the absence of e and g subunits. The electrophysiological properties of F-ATP synthase were assessed in planar lipid bilayers. <b><i>Results:</i></b> Null mutants for the subunits e and g display dimer formation upon Cu<sup>2+</sup> treatment and show PTP-dependent mitochondrial Ca<sup>2+</sup> release but not swelling. Cu<sup>2+</sup> treatment causes formation of disulfide bridges between Cys23 of subunits a that stabilize dimers in absence of e and g subunits and favors the open state of wild-type F-ATP synthase channels. Absence of e and g subunits decreases conductance of the F-ATP synthase channel about tenfold. Ablation of the first TM of subunit b, which creates a distinct lateral domain with e and g, further affected channel activity. <b><i>Conclusion:</i></b> F-ATP synthase e, g and b subunits create a domain within the membrane that is critical for the generation of the high-conductance channel, thus is a prime candidate for PTP formation. Subunits e and g are only present in eukaryotes and may have evolved to confer this novel function to F-ATP synthase.