An mTRAN-mRNA interaction mediates mitochondrial translation initiation in plants

Huy Cuong Tran, Vivian Schmitt, Sbatie Lama, Chuande Wang, Alexandra Launay-Avon, Katja Bernfur, Kristin Sultan, Kasim Khan, Veronique Brunaud, Arnaud Liehrmann, Benoit Castandet, Fredrik Levander, Allan Rasmusson, Hakim Mireau, Etienne Delannoy, Olivier Van Aken

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Plant mitochondria represent the largest group of respiring organelles on the planet. Plant mitochondrial messenger RNAs (mRNAs) lack Shine-Dalgarno-like ribosome-binding sites, so it is unknown how plant mitoribosomes recognize mRNA. We show that “mitochondrial translation factors” mTRAN1 and mTRAN2 are land plant–specific proteins, required for normal mitochondrial respiration chain biogenesis. Our studies suggest that mTRANs are noncanonical pentatricopeptide repeat (PPR)–like RNA binding proteins of the mitoribosomal “small” subunit. We identified conserved Adenosine (A)/Uridine (U)-rich motifs in the 5′ regions of plant mitochondrial mRNAs. mTRAN1 binds this motif, suggesting that it is a mitoribosome homing factor to identify mRNAs. We demonstrate that mTRANs are likely required for translation of all plant mitochondrial mRNAs. Plant mitochondrial translation initiation thus appears to use a protein-mRNA interaction that is divergent from bacteria or mammalian mitochondria.
Original languageEnglish
Article numberadg0995
Issue number6661
Publication statusPublished - 2023 Sept 1

Subject classification (UKÄ)

  • Biochemistry and Molecular Biology

Free keywords

  • Plant
  • Mitochondria
  • Ribosome
  • translation initiation
  • Arabidopsis


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