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PLoS One. 2012;7(1):e30943. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0030943. Epub 2012 Jan 23.

Mitochondrial-nuclear DNA interactions contribute to the regulation of nuclear transcript levels as part of the inter-organelle communication system.

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  • 1Institute of Natural Sciences, Massey University, Albany, New Zealand.


Nuclear and mitochondrial organelles must maintain a communication system. Loci on the mitochondrial genome were recently reported to interact with nuclear loci. To determine whether this is part of a DNA based communication system we used genome conformation capture to map the global network of DNA-DNA interactions between the mitochondrial and nuclear genomes (Mito-nDNA) in Saccharomyces cerevisiae cells grown under three different metabolic conditions. The interactions that form between mitochondrial and nuclear loci are dependent on the metabolic state of the yeast. Moreover, the frequency of specific mitochondrial-nuclear interactions (i.e. COX1-MSY1 and Q0182-RSM7) showed significant reductions in the absence of mitochondrial encoded reverse transcriptase machinery. Furthermore, these reductions correlated with increases in the transcript levels of the nuclear loci (MSY1 and RSM7). We propose that these interactions represent an inter-organelle DNA mediated communication system and that reverse transcription of mitochondrial RNA plays a role in this process.

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