Romo1 is a mitochondrial nonselective cation channel with viroporin-like characteristics

Gi Young Lee, Deok Gyun You, Hye Ra Lee, Sun Wook Hwang, C. Justin Lee, Young Do Yoo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Citations (Scopus)


Reactive oxygen species (ROS) modulator 1 (Romo1) is a nuclear-encoded mitochondrial inner membrane protein known to regulate mitochondrial ROS production and to act as an essential redox sensor in mitochondrial dynamics. Although its physiological roles have been studied for a decade, the biophysical mechanisms that explain these activities of Romo1 are unclear. In this study, we report that Romo1 is a unique mitochondrial ion channel that differs from currently identified eukaryotic ion channels. Romo1 is a highly conserved protein with structural features of class II viroporins, which are virusencoded nonselective cation channels. Indeed, Romo1 forms a nonselective cation channel with its amphipathic helical transmembrane domain necessary for pore-forming activity. Notably, channel activity was specifically inhibited by Fe2+ ions, an essential transition metal ion in ROS metabolism. Using structural bioinformatics, we designed an experimental data- guided structural model of Romo1 with a rational hexameric structure. We propose that Romo1 establishes a new category of viroporin-like nonselective cation channel in eukaryotes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2059-2071
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Cell Biology
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2018 Jun 1

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cell Biology


Dive into the research topics of 'Romo1 is a mitochondrial nonselective cation channel with viroporin-like characteristics'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this