PAAT, a novel ATPase and trans-regulator of mitochondrial ABC transporters, is critically involved in the maintenance of mitochondrial homeostasis.
ATP-binding cassette (ABC) transporters are implicated in a diverse range of physiological and pathophysiological processes, such as cholesterol and lipid transportation and multidrug resistance. Despite the considerable efforts made in understanding of the cellular function of ABC proteins, the regulation mechanism of this type of protein is still poorly defined. Here we report the identification and functional characterization of a novel ATPase protein, protein associated with ABC transporters (PAAT), in humans. PAAT contains a nucleotide-binding domain (NBD)-like domain and a signal for intramitochondrial sorting. We showed that PAAT is localized in both the cytoplasm and the mitochondria and has an intrinsic ATPase activity. PAAT physically interacts with the 3 known mitochondrial inner membrane ABC proteins, ABCB7, ABCB8, and ABCB10, but not ABCB1, ABCB6, or ABCG2, and functionally regulates the transport of ferric nutrients and heme biosynthesis. Significantly, PAAT deficiency promotes cell death, reduces mitochondrial potential, and sensitizes mitochondria to oxidative stress-induced DNA damages. Our experiments revealed that PAAT is a novel ATPase and a trans-regulator of mitochondrial ABC transporters that plays an important role in the maintenance of mitochondrial homeostasis and cell survival.-Yang, X., Yang, J., Li, L., Sun, L., Yi, X., Han, X., Si, W., Yan, R., Chen, Z., Xie, G., Li, W., Shang, Y., Liang, J. PAAT, a novel ATPase and trans-regulator of mitochondrial ABC transporters, is critically involved in the maintenance of mitochondrial homeostasis.