Send to

Choose Destination
Biochimie. 2014 May;100:141-50. doi: 10.1016/j.biochi.2013.08.031. Epub 2013 Sep 8.

Helical repeats modular proteins are major players for organelle gene expression.

Author information

IBMP-CNRS, UPR2357, Strasbourg F-67084, France.
IBMP-CNRS, UPR2357, Strasbourg F-67084, France. Electronic address:


Mitochondria and chloroplasts are often described as semi-autonomous organelles because they have retained a genome. They thus require fully functional gene expression machineries. Many of the required processes going all the way from transcription to translation have specificities in organelles and arose during eukaryote history. Most factors involved in these RNA maturation steps have remained elusive for a long time. The recent identification of a number of novel protein families including pentatricopeptide repeat proteins, half-a-tetratricopeptide proteins, octotricopeptide repeat proteins and mitochondrial transcription termination factors has helped to settle long-standing questions regarding organelle gene expression. In particular, their functions have been related to replication, transcription, RNA processing, RNA editing, splicing, the control of RNA turnover and translation throughout eukaryotes. These families of proteins, although evolutionary independent, seem to share a common overall architecture. For all of them, proteins contain tandem arrays of repeated motifs. Each module is composed of two to three α-helices and their succession forms a super-helix. Here, we review the features characterising these protein families, in particular, their distribution, the identified functions and mode of action and propose that they might share similar substrate recognition mechanisms.


Half a tetratricopeptide; Mitochondrial transcription termination factor; Modular proteins; Octotricopeptide repeat; Pentatricopeptide repeat

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Elsevier Science
Loading ...
Support Center