Interaction of NDPK-D with cardiolipin-containing membranes: Structural basis and implications for mitochondrial physiology Academic Article uri icon

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  • Nucleoside diphosphate kinases (NDPKs/Nm23), responsible for intracellular di- and tri-phosphonucleoside homeostasis, play multi-faceted roles in cellular energetic, signaling, proliferation, differentiation and tumor invasion. The mitochondrial NDPK-D, the NME4 gene product, is a peripheral protein of the inner membrane. Several new aspects of the interaction of NDPK-D with the inner mitochondrial membrane have been recently characterized. Surface plasmon resonance analysis using recombinant NDPK-D and different phospholipid liposomes showed that NDPK-D interacts electrostatically with anionic phospholipids, with highest affinity observed for cardiolipin, a phospholipid located mostly in the mitochondrial inner membrane. Mutation of the central arginine (R90) in a surface exposed cationic RRK motif unique to NDPK-D strongly reduced phospholipid interaction in vitro and in vivo. Stable expression of NDPK-D proteins in HeLa cells naturally almost devoid of this isoform revealed a tight functional coupling of NDPK-D with oxidative phosphorylation that depends on the membrane-bound state of the enzyme. Owing to its symmetrical hexameric structure exposing membrane binding motifs on two opposite sides, NDPK-D could bridge liposomes containing anionic phospholipids and promote lipid transfer between them. In vivo, NDPK-D could induce intermembrane contacts and facilitate lipid movements between mitochondrial membranes. Most of these properties are reminiscent to those of the mitochondrial creatine kinase. We review here the common properties of both kinases and we discuss their potential roles in mitochondrial functions such as energy production, apoptosis and mitochondrial dynamics.


  • Lacombe, Marie-Lise
  • Tokarska-Schlattner, Malgorzata
  • Epand, Raquel F
  • Boissan, Mathieu
  • Epand, Richard
  • Schlattner, Uwe

publication date

  • June 2009