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Mol Biol Cell. 2013 Feb;24(3):184-93. doi: 10.1091/mbc.E12-09-0651. Epub 2012 Nov 21.

The conserved interaction of C7orf30 with MRPL14 promotes biogenesis of the mitochondrial large ribosomal subunit and mitochondrial translation.

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Montreal Neurological Institute and Department of Human Genetics, McGill University, Montreal, QC H3A 2B4, Canada.


Mammalian mitochondria harbor a dedicated translation apparatus that is required for the synthesis of 13 mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA)-encoded polypeptides, all of which are essential components of the oxidative phosphorylation (OXPHOS) complexes. Little is known about the mechanism of assembly of the mitoribosomes that catalyze this process. Here we show that C7orf30, a member of the large family of DUF143 proteins, associates with the mitochondrial large ribosomal subunit (mt-LSU). Knockdown of C7orf30 by short hairpin RNA (shRNA) does not alter the sedimentation profile of the mt-LSU, but results in the depletion of several mt-LSU proteins and decreased monosome formation. This leads to a mitochondrial translation defect, involving the majority of mitochondrial polypeptides, and a severe OXPHOS assembly defect. Immunoprecipitation and mass spectrometry analyses identified mitochondrial ribosomal protein (MRP)L14 as the specific interacting protein partner of C7orf30 in the mt-LSU. Reciprocal experiments in which MRPL14 was depleted by small interfering RNA (siRNA) phenocopied the C7orf30 knockdown. Members of the DUF143 family have been suggested to be universally conserved ribosomal silencing factors, acting by sterically inhibiting the association of the small and large ribosomal subunits. Our results demonstrate that, although the interaction between C7orf30 and MRPL14 has been evolutionarily conserved, human C7orf30 is, on the contrary, essential for mitochondrial ribosome biogenesis and mitochondrial translation.

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