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J Biol Chem. 2001 May 11;276(19):15861-7. Epub 2001 Feb 14.

Identification of 12 new yeast mitochondrial ribosomal proteins including 6 that have no prokaryotic homologues.

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  • 1Génétique des Interactions Macromoléculaires, CNRS (URA2171), 75724 Paris Cedex 15, France.


Mitochondrial ribosomal proteins were studied best in yeast, where the small subunit was shown to contain about 35 proteins. Yet, genetic and biochemical studies identified only 14 proteins, half of which were predictable by sequence homology with prokaryotic ribosomal components of the small subunit. Using a recently described affinity purification technique and tagged versions of yeast Ykl155c and Mrp1, we isolated this mitochondrial ribosomal subunit and identified a total of 20 proteins, of which 12 are new. For a subset of the newly described ribosomal proteins, we showed that they are localized in mitochondria and are required for the respiratory competency of the yeast cells. This brings to 26 the total number of proteins described as components of the mitochondrial small ribosomal subunit. Remarkably, almost half of the previously and newly identified mitochondrial ribosomal components showed no similarity to any known ribosomal protein. Homologues could be found, however, in predicted protein sequences from Schizosaccharomyces pombe. In more distant species, putative homologues were detected for Ykl155c, which shares conserved motifs with uncharacterized proteins of higher eukaryotes including humans. Another newly identified ribosomal protein, Ygl129c, was previously shown to be a member of the DAP-3 family of mitochondrial apoptosis mediators.

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