Mitochondria require nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD+) in order to carry out the fundamental processes that fuel respiration and mediate cellular energy transduction. Mitochondrial NAD+ transporters have been identified in yeast and plants1,2 but their very existence is controversial in mammals3–5. Here we demonstrate that mammalian mitochondria are capable of taking up intact NAD+ and identify SLC25A51 (an essential6,7 mitochondrial protein of previously unknown function, also known as MCART1) as a mammalian mitochondrial NAD+ transporter. Loss of SLC25A51 decreases mitochondrial but not whole-cell NAD+ content, impairs mitochondrial respiration, and blocks the uptake of NAD+ into isolated mitochondria. Conversely, overexpression of SLC25A51 or a nearly identical paralog, SLC25A52, increases mitochondrial NAD+ levels and restores NAD+ uptake into yeast mitochondria lacking endogenous NAD+ transporters. Together, these findings identify SLC25A51 as the first transporter capable of importing NAD+ into mammalian mitochondria.
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