Apoptosis Inducing Factor (AIF) and its Family Member, AMID, are Rotenone-Sensitive NADH:ubiquinone Oxidoreductases (NDH-2) [Enzymology]

June 10th, 2015 by Elguindy, M. M., Nakamaru-Ogiso, E.

Apoptosis inducing factor (AIF) and AMID (AIF-homologous mitochondrion-associated inducer of death) are flavoproteins. While AIF was originally discovered as a caspase-independent cell death effector, bioenergetic roles of AIF, particularly relating to complex I functions, have since emerged. However, the role of AIF in mitochondrial respiration and redox metabolism has remained unknown. Here, we investigated the redox properties of human AIF and AMID by comparing them with yeast Ndi1, a type 2 NADH:ubiquinone oxidoreductase (NDH-2) regarded as alternative complex I. Isolated AIF and AMID containing naturally incorporated FAD displayed no NADH oxidase activities. However, after reconstituting isolated AIF or AMID into bacterial or mitochondrial membranes, N-terminally tagged AIF and AMID displayed substantial NADH:O2 activities and supported NADH-linked proton pumping activities in the host membranes almost as efficiently as Ndi1. NADH:ubiquinone-1 activities in the reconstituted membranes were highly sensitive to HQNO (2-n-heptyl-4-hydroxyquinoline-N-oxide) (IC50 = ~1 μM), a quinone binding inhibitor. Overexpressing N-terminally tagged AIF and AMID enhanced the growth of a double knockout E. coli strain lacking complex I and NDH-2. In contrast, C-terminally tagged AIF and NADH-binding site mutants of N-terminally tagged AIF and AMID, failed to show both NADH:O2 activity and the growth-enhancing effect. The disease mutant AIFΔR201 showed decreased NADH:O2 activity and growth-enhancing effect. Furthermore, we surprisingly found that the redox activities of N-terminally tagged AIF and AMID were sensitive to rotenone, a well-known complex I inhibitor. We propose that AIF and AMID are previously unidentified mammalian NDH-2 enzymes, whose bioenergetic function could be supplemental NADH oxidation in cells.