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Acta Biochim Pol. 2000;47(4):973-91.

Coupling of mitochondrial translation with the formation of respiratory complexes in yeast mitochondria.

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Institute of Biochemistry and Biophysics, Polish Academy of Sciences, Warszawa.


In contrast to most other eukaryotic organisms, yeast can survive without respiration. This ability has been exploited to investigate nuclear genes required for expression of mitochondrial DNA. Availability of complete Saccharomyces cerevisiae genomic sequence has provided additional help in detailed molecular analysis. Seven of the eight major products encoded by mitochondrial DNA are hydrophobic subunits of respiratory complexes in the inner membrane. Localization of the translation process in the same cellular compartment ensures synthesis of mitochondrially encoded proteins near sites of their assembly into multimeric respiratory complexes. Association of mitochondrial ribosomes with the membrane is mediated by mRNA-specific translational activators, that are involved in the recognition of initiation codon. The newly synthesized mitochondrial proteins are transferred to membrane by a specific export system. This review discusses the role of membrane-localized factors responsible for quality control and turnover of mitochondrially synthesized subunits as well as for assembly of respiratory complexes.

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