In-situ architecture of the human prohibitin complex


Lange F, Ratz M, Dohrke JN, Wenzel D, Ilgen P, Riedel D, Jakobs S




bioRxiv 2024.02.14.579514.


Prohibitins are a highly conserved family of proteins that have been implicated in a variety of functions including mitochondrial stress signalling and housekeeping, cell cycle progression, apoptosis, lifespan regulation and many others1, 2. The human prohibitins PHB1 and PHB2 have been proposed to act as scaffolds within the mitochondrial inner membrane, but their molecular organisation remained elusive. Using an integrative structural biology approach combining quantitative Western blotting, cryo-electron tomography, subtomogram averaging and molecular modelling, we determined the molecular organisation of the human prohibitin complex within the mitochondrial inner membrane. The proposed bell-shaped structure consists of eleven alternating PHB1 and PHB2 molecules. This study reveals an average of about 43 prohibitin complexes per crista, covering 1-3 % of the cristae membranes. These findings provide a structural basis for understanding the functional contributions of prohibitins to the integrity and spatial organisation of the mitochondrial inner membrane.