, Volume 52, Issue 12, pp 1130-1135

Translational control of endogenous and recoded nuclear genes in yeast mitochondria: Regulation and membrane targeting

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Abstract

Mitochondrial gene expression in yeast,Saccharomyces cerevisiae, depends on translational activation of individual mRNAs by distinct proteins encoded in the nucleus. These nuclearly coded mRNA-specific translational activators are bound to the inner membrane and function to mediate the interaction between mRNAs and mitochondrial ribosomes. This complex system, found to date only in organelles, appears to be an adaptation for targeting the synthesis of mitochondrially coded integral membrane proteins to the membrane. In addition, mRNA-specific translational activation is a rate-limiting step used to modulate expression of at least one mitochondrial gene in response to environmental conditions. Direct study of mitochondrial gene regulation and the targeting of mitochondrially coded proteins in vivo will now be possible using synthetic genes inserted into mtDNA that encode soluble reporter/passenger proteins.