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Mitochondrion. 2010 Apr;10(3):284-93. doi: 10.1016/j.mito.2010.01.002. Epub 2010 Jan 12.

tRNA mitochondrial import in yeast: Mapping of the import determinants in the carrier protein, the precursor of mitochondrial lysyl-tRNA synthetase.

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UMR No. 7156, CNRS - Université de Strasbourg, Department Molecular and Cellular Genetics, 21 rue René Descartes, 67084 Strasbourg, France.


Mitochondria of many species import of nuclear DNA-encoded tRNAs. This widely spread but poorly studied phenomenon proved to be a promising tool for mitochondrial transfection. In yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae, one cytosolic tRNAs(Lys) is partially targeted into mitochondria. Previous studies have shown that binding of this tRNA to its putative protein carrier, the precursor of mitochondrial lysyl-tRNA synthetase (preMsk1p), IIb class aminoacyl-tRNA synthetase, was a pre-requisite of import. In this work, we identify the hinge region with two adjacent helices H5 and H7 to be responsible for mitochondrial targeting of the tRNA and characterize preMsk1p versions with altered tRK1 import capacities.

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