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EMBO J. 1984 Aug;3(8):1773-81.

Isolation of the nuclear yeast genes for citrate synthase and fifteen other mitochondrial proteins by a new screening method.


To isolate nuclear genes specifying imported mitochondrial proteins, a yeast genomic clone bank was screened by an RNA hybridization-competition assay. This assay exploited the fact that mRNAs for imported mitochondrial proteins are enriched in polysomes which are bound to the mitochondrial surface in cycloheximide-inhibited yeast cells. Clones selectively hybridizing to these enriched mRNAs were further screened by hybrid-selected translation and immunoprecipitation with monospecific antisera against individual mitochondrial proteins. Thirty-six clones were isolated which contained complete or partial copies of 16 different genes for imported mitochondrial proteins. Several of these clones caused expression of the corresponding precursor polypeptide in Escherichia coli or over-expression of the corresponding mature protein in yeast. The gene for the matrix enzyme citrate synthase was sequenced; the derived amino acid sequence of the precursor polypeptide revealed an amino-terminal extension containing basic but no acidic residues.

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