, Volume 50, Issue 3, pp 523-533

Plant mitochondrial rps2 genes code for proteins with a C-terminal extension that is processed

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Abstract

A gene (rps2) coding for ribosomal protein S2 (RPS2) is present in the mitochondrial (mt) genome of several monocot plants, but absent from the mtDNA of dicots. Confirming that in dicot plants the corresponding gene has been transferred to the nucleus, a corresponding Arabidopsis thaliana nuclear gene was identified that codes for mitochondrial RPS2. As several yeast and mammalian genes coding for mt ribosomal proteins, the Arabidopsis RPS2 apparently has no N-terminal targeting sequence. In the maize mt genome, two rps2 genes were identified and both are transcribed, although at different levels. As in wheat and rice, the maize genes code for proteins with long C-terminal extensions, as compared to their bacterial counterparts. These extensions are not conserved in sequence. Using specific antibodies against one of the maize proteins we found that a large protein precursor is indeed synthesized, but it is apparently processed to give the mature RPS2 protein which is associated with the mitochondrial ribosome.