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J Mol Biol. 1991 Jan 5;217(1):23-37.

MRS3 and MRS4, two suppressors of mtRNA splicing defects in yeast, are new members of the mitochondrial carrier family.

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Institut für Mikrobiologie und Genetik Universität Wien, Austria.


When present in high copy number plasmids, the nuclear genes MRS3 and MRS4 from Saccharomyces cerevisiae can suppress the mitochondrial RNA splicing defects of several mit- intron mutations. Both genes code for closely related proteins of about Mr 32,000; they are 73% identical. Sequence comparisons indicate that MRS3 and MRS4 may be related to the family of mitochondrial carrier proteins. Support for this notion comes from a structural analysis of these proteins. Like the ADP/ATP carrier protein (AAC), the mitochondrial phosphate carrier protein (PiC) and the uncoupling protein (UCP), the two MRS proteins have a tripartite structure; each of the three repeats consists of two hydrophobic domains that are flanked by specific amino acid residues. The spacing of these specific residues is identical in all domains of all proteins of the family, whereas spacing between the hydrophobic domains is variable. Like the AAC protein, the MRS3 and MRS4 proteins are imported into mitochondria in vitro and without proteolytic cleavage of a presequence and they are located in the inner mitochondrial membrane. In vivo studies support this mitochondrial localization of the MRS proteins. Overexpression of the MRS3 and MRS4 proteins causes a temperature-dependent petite phenotype; this is consistent with a mitochondrial function of these proteins. Disruption of these genes affected neither mitochondrial functions nor cellular viability. Their products thus have no essential function for mitochondrial biogenesis or for whole yeast cells that could not be taken over by other gene products. The findings are discussed in relation to possible functions of the MRS proteins in mitochondrial solute translocation and RNA splicing.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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