A novel motif in the yeast mitochondrial dynamin Dnm1 is essential for adaptor binding and membrane recruitment.
To initiate mitochondrial fission, dynamin-related proteins (DRPs) must bind specific adaptors on the outer mitochondrial membrane. The structural features underlying this interaction are poorly understood. Using yeast as a model, we show that the Insert B domain of the Dnm1 guanosine triphosphatase (a DRP) contains a novel motif required for association with the mitochondrial adaptor Mdv1. Mutation of this conserved motif specifically disrupted Dnm1-Mdv1 interactions, blocking Dnm1 recruitment and mitochondrial fission. Suppressor mutations in Mdv1 that restored Dnm1-Mdv1 interactions and fission identified potential protein-binding interfaces on the Mdv1 β-propeller domain. These results define the first known function for Insert B in DRP-adaptor interactions. Based on the variability of Insert B sequences and adaptor proteins, we propose that Insert B domains and mitochondrial adaptors have coevolved to meet the unique requirements for mitochondrial fission of different organisms.