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© 2017 by The American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Inc. Increasing evidence suggests that mitoNEET, a target of the type II diabetes drug pioglitazone, is a key regulator of energy metabolism in mitochondria. MitoNEET is anchored to the mitochondrial outer membrane via its N-terminal α helix domain and hosts a redox-active [2Fe-2S] cluster in its C-terminal cytosolic region. The mechanism by which mitoNEET regulates energy metabolism in mitochondria, however, is not fully understood. Previous studies have shown that mitoNEET specifically interacts with the reduced flavin mononucleotide (FMNH2) and that FMNH2 can quickly reduce the mitoNEET [2Fe-2S] clusters. Here we report that the reduced mitoNEET [2Fe-2S] clusters can be readily oxidized by oxygen. In the presence of FMN, NADH, and flavin reductase, which reduces FMN toFMNH2 usingNADHas the electron donor, mitoNEET mediates oxidation of NADH with a concomitant reduction of oxygen. Ubiquinone-2, an analog of ubiquinone-10, can also oxidize the reduced mitoNEET [2Fe-2S] clusters under anaerobic or aerobic conditions. Compared with oxygen, ubiquinone-2 is more efficient in oxidizing the mitoNEET [2Fe-2S] clusters, suggesting that ubiquinone could be an intrinsic electron acceptor of the reduced mitoNEET [2Fe-2S] clusters in mitochondria. Pioglitazone or its analog NL-1 appears to inhibit the electron transfer activity of mitoNEET by forming a unique complex with mitoNEET and FMNH2. The results suggest that mitoNEET is a redox enzyme thatmaypromote oxidation ofNADHto facilitate enhanced glycolysis in the cytosol and that pioglitazone may regulate energy metabolism in mitochondria by inhibiting the electron transfer activity of mitoNEET.

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Journal of Biological Chemistry

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