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Eur J Biochem. 1991 Nov 1;201(3):643-52.

Mitochondrial translational-initiation and elongation factors in Saccharomyces cerevisiae.

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Department of Biological Sciences, Columbia University, New York, NY 10027.


C155 and E252 are respiratory-defective mutants of Saccharomyces cerevisiae, previously assigned to complementation groups G37 and G142, respectively. The following evidence suggested that both mutants were likely to have lesions in components of the mitochondrial translational machinery: C155 and E252 display a pleiotropic deficiency in cytochromes a, a3 and b; both strains are severly limited in their ability to incorporate radioactive methionine into the mitochondrial translation products and, in addition, display a tendency to loose wild-type mitochondrial DNA. This set of characteristics is commonly found in strains affected in mitochondrial protein synthesis. To identify the biochemical lesions, each mutant was transformed with a wild-type yeast genomic library and clones complemented for the respiratory defect were selected for growth on a non-fermentable substrate. Analysis of the cloned genes revealed that C155 has a mutation in a protein which has high sequence similarity to bacterial elongation factor G and that E252 has a mutation in a protein homologous to bacterial initiation factor 2. Disruption of the chromosomal copy of each gene in a wild-type haploid yeast induced a phenotype analogous to that of the original mutants, but does not affect cell viability. These results indicate that both gene products function exclusively in mitochondrial protein synthesis. Subcloning of the IFM1 gene, coding for the mitochondrial initiation factor, indicates that the amino-terminal 423 residues of the protein are sufficient to promote peptide-chain initiation in vivo.

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