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Mol Biol Cell. 1993 Dec;4(12):1327-35.

Alteration of the Saccharomyces cerevisiae COX2 mRNA 5'-untranslated leader by mitochondrial gene replacement and functional interaction with the translational activator protein PET111.

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  • 1Sections of Biochemistry, Molecular and Cell Biology, Cornell University, Ithaca, New York 14853-2703.

Abstract

The ability to replace wild-type mitochondrial DNA sequences in yeast with in vitro-generated mutations has been exploited to study the mechanism by which the nuclearly encoded PET111 protein specifically activates translation of the mitochondrially coded COX2 mRNA. We have generated three mutations in vitro that alter the COX2 mRNA 5'-untranslated leader (UTL) and introduced them into the mitochondrial genome, replacing the wild-type sequence. None of the mutations significantly affected the steady-state level of COX2 mRNA. Deletion of a single base at position -24 (relative to the translation initiation codon) in the 5'-UTL (cox2-11) reduced COX2 mRNA translation and respiratory growth, whereas insertion of four bases in place of the deleted base (cox2-12) and deletion of bases -30 to -2 (cox2-13) completely blocked both. Six spontaneous nuclear mutations were selected as suppressors of the single-base 5'-UTL deletion, cox2-11. One of these mapped to PET111 and was shown to be a missense mutation that changed residue 652 from Ala to Thr. This suppressor, PET111-20, failed to suppress the 29-base deletion, cox2-13, but very weakly suppressed the insertion mutation, cox2-12. PET111-20 also enhanced translation of a partially functional COX2 mRNA with a wild-type 5'-UTL but a mutant initiation codon. Although overexpression of the wild-type PET111 protein caused weak suppression of the single-base deletion, cox2-11, the PET111-20 suppressor mutation did not function simply by increasing the level of the protein. These results demonstrate an intimate functional interaction between the translational activator protein and the mRNA 5'-UTL and suggest that they may interact directly.

PMID:
8167413
PMCID:
PMC275768
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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