Research Summary: Repression of Mitochondrial Translation, Respiration and a Metabolic Cycle-Regulated Gene, SLF1, by the Yeast Pumilio-Family Protein Puf3p


Synthesis and assembly of the mitochondrial oxidative phosphorylation (OXPHOS) system requires genes located both in the nuclear and mitochondrial genomes, but how gene expression is coordinated between these two compartments is not fully understood. One level of control is through regulated expression mitochondrial ribosomal proteins and other factors required for mitochondrial translation and OXPHOS assembly, which are all products of nuclear genes that are subsequently imported into mitochondria. Interestingly, this cadre of genes in budding yeast has in common a 3′-UTR element that is bound by the Pumilio family protein, Puf3p, and is coordinately regulated under many conditions, including during the yeast metabolic cycle. Multiple functions have been assigned to Puf3p, including promoting mRNA degradation, localizing nucleus-encoded mitochondrial transcripts to the outer mitochondrial membrane, and facilitating mitochondria-cytoskeletal interactions and motility. Here we show that Puf3p has a general repressive effect on mitochondrial OXPHOS abundance, translation, and respiration that does not involve changes in overall mitochondrial biogenesis and largely independent of TORC1-mitochondrial signaling. We also identified the cytoplasmic translation factor Slf1p as yeast metabolic cycle-regulated gene that is repressed by Puf3p at the post-transcriptional level and promotes respiration and extension of yeast chronological life span when over-expressed. Altogether, these results should facilitate future studies on which of the many functions of Puf3p is most relevant for regulating mitochondrial gene expression and the role of nuclear-mitochondrial communication in aging and longevity.


Publisher: Public Library of Science

Date Published: 31-May-2011

Author(s): Chatenay-Lapointe M., Shadel G.


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