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Adv Drug Deliv Rev. 2001 Jul 2;49(1-2):199-215.

RNA delivery into mitochondria.

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FRE 2168 CNRS, 21, rue René Descartes, 67084 Strasbourg, France.


Mitochondria, though containing their own genome, import the vast majority of their macromolecular components from the cytoplasm. If the mechanisms of pre-protein import are well understood, the import of nuclear-coded RNAs into mitochondria was investigated to a much lesser extent. This targeting, if not universal, is widely spread among species. The origin and the mechanisms of RNA import seem to differ from one system to another and striking differences are observed even in closely related species. We describe data concerning the various experimental systems of studying RNA import with emphasis on the model of the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae, which was studied in our laboratory. We compare various requirements of RNA import into mitochondria in different species and demonstrate that this pathway can be transferred from yeast to human cells, in which tRNAs normally are not imported. We speculate on the possibility to use RNA import for biomedical purposes.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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