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Nucleic Acids Research




Mitochondrial ribosomes synthesize essential components of the oxidative phosphorylation (OXPHOS) system in a tightly regulated process. In the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae, mitochondrial mRNAs require specific translational activators, which orchestrate protein synthesis by recognition of their target gene's 5'-untranslated region (UTR). Most of these yeast genes lack orthologues in mammals, and only one such gene-specific translational activator has been proposed in humans-TACO1. The mechanism by which TACO1 acts is unclear because mammalian mitochondrial mRNAs do not have significant 5'-UTRs, and therefore must promote translation by alternative mechanisms. In this study, we examined the role of the TACO1 orthologue in yeast. We found this 29 kDa protein to be a general mitochondrial translation factor, Dpc29, rather than a COX1-specific translational activator. Its activity was necessary for the optimal expression of OXPHOS mtDNA reporters, and mutations within the mitoribosomal large subunit protein gene MRP7 produced a global reduction of mitochondrial translation in dpc29Δ cells, indicative of a general mitochondrial translation factor. Northern-based mitoribosome profiling of dpc29Δ cells showed higher footprint frequencies at the 3' ends of mRNAs, suggesting a role in translation post-initiation. Additionally, human TACO1 expressed at native levels rescued defects in dpc29Δ yeast strains, suggesting that the two proteins perform highly conserved functions.

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Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

Published Citation

Kyle A Hubble , Michael F Henry, DPC29 promotes post-initiation mitochondrial translation in Saccharomyces cerevisiae, Nucleic Acids Research, Volume 51, Issue 3, 22 February 2023, Pages 1260–1276,