[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Background: Yeasts show remarkable variation in the organization of their mitochondrial genomes, yet there is little experimental data on organellar gene expression outside few model species. Candida albicans is interesting as a human pathogen, and as a representative of a clade that is distant from the model yeasts Saccharomyces cerevisiae and Schizosaccharomyces pombe. Unlike them, it encodes seven Complex I subunits in its mtDNA. No experimental data regarding organellar expression were available prior to this study. Methods: We used high-throughput RNA sequencing and traditional RNA biology techniques to study the mitochondrial transcriptome of C. albicans strains BWP17 and SN148. Results: The 14 protein-coding genes, two ribosomal RNA genes, and 24 tRNA genes are expressed as eight primary polycistronic transcription units. We also found transcriptional activity in the noncoding regions, and antisense transcripts that could be a part of a regulatory mechanism. The promoter sequence is a variant of the nonanucleotide identified in other yeast mtDNAs, but some of the active promoters show significant departures from the consensus. The primary transcripts are processed by a tRNA punctuation mechanism into the monocistronic and bicistronic mature RNAs. The steady state levels of various mature transcripts exhibit large differences that are a result of posttranscriptional regulation. Transcriptome analysis allowed to precisely annotate the positions of introns in the RNL (2), COB (2) and COX1 (4) genes, as well as to refine the annotation of tRNAs and rRNAs. Comparative study of the mitochondrial genome organization in various Candida species indicates that they undergo shuffling in blocks usually containing 2-3 genes, and that their arrangement in primary transcripts is not conserved. tRNA genes with their associated promoters, as well as GC-rich sequence elements play an important role in these evolutionary events. Conclusions: The main evolutionary force shaping the mitochondrial genomes of yeasts is the frequent recombination, constantly breaking apart and joining genes into novel primary transcription units. The mitochondrial transcription units are constantly rearranged in evolution shaping the features of gene expression, such as the presence of secondary promoter sites that are inactive, or act as "booster" promoters, simplified transcriptional regulation and reliance on posttranscriptional mechanisms.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Variation in the intracellular percentage of normal and mutant mitochondrial DNAs (mtDNA) (heteroplasmy) can be associated with phenotypic heterogeneity in mtDNA diseases. Individuals that inherit the common disease-causing mtDNA tRNA(Leu(UUR)) 3243A>G mutation and harbor ∼10-30% 3243G mutant mtDNAs manifest diabetes and occasionally autism; individuals with ∼50-90% mutant mtDNAs manifest encephalomyopathies; and individuals with ∼90-100% mutant mtDNAs face perinatal lethality. To determine the basis of these abrupt phenotypic changes, we generated somatic cell cybrids harboring increasing levels of the 3243G mutant and analyzed the associated cellular phenotypes and nuclear DNA (nDNA) and mtDNA transcriptional profiles by RNA sequencing. Small increases in mutant mtDNAs caused relatively modest defects in oxidative capacity but resulted in sharp transitions in cellular phenotype and gene expression. Cybrids harboring 20-30% 3243G mtDNAs had reduced mtDNA mRNA levels, rounded mitochondria, and small cell size. Cybrids with 50-90% 3243G mtDNAs manifest induction of glycolytic genes, mitochondrial elongation, increased mtDNA mRNA levels, and alterations in expression of signal transduction, epigenomic regulatory, and neurodegenerative disease-associated genes. Finally, cybrids with 100% 3243G experienced reduced mtDNA transcripts, rounded mitochondria, and concomitant changes in nuclear gene expression. Thus, striking phase changes occurred in nDNA and mtDNA gene expression in response to the modest changes of the mtDNA 3243G mutant levels. Hence, a major factor in the phenotypic variation in heteroplasmic mtDNA mutations is the limited number of states that the nucleus can acquire in response to progressive changes in mitochondrial retrograde signaling.
Full-text · Article · Sep 2014 · Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: PPR proteins are a family of ubiquitous RNA-binding factors, found in all the Eukaryotic lineages, and are particularly numerous in higher plants. According to recent bioinformatic analyses, yeast genomes encode from 10 (in S. pombe) to 15 (in S. cerevisiae) PPR proteins. All of these proteins are mitochondrial and very often interact with the mitochondrial membrane. Apart from the general factors, RNA polymerase and RNase P, most yeast PPR proteins are involved in the stability and/or translation of mitochondrially encoded RNAs. At present, some information concerning the target RNA(s) of most of these proteins is available, the next challenge will be to refine our understanding of the function of the proteins and to resolve the yeast PPR-RNA-binding code, which might differ significantly from the plant PPR code.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The final step of cytoplasmic mRNA degradation proceeds in either a 50-30 direction catalysed by Xrn1 or in a 30-50 direction catalysed by the exosome. Dis3/Rrp44, an RNase II family protein, is the catalytic subunit of the exosome. In humans, there are three paralogues of this enzyme: DIS3, DIS3L, and DIS3L2. In this work, we identified a novel Schizosaccharomyces pombe exonuclease belonging to the conserved family of human DIS3L2 and plant SOV. Dis3L2 does not interact with the exosome components and loca- lizes in the cytoplasm and in cytoplasmic foci, which are docked to P-bodies. Deletion of dis3l2þ is synthetically lethal with xrn1D, while deletion of dis3l2þ in an lsm1D background results in the accumulation of transcripts and slower mRNA degradation rates. Accumulated transcripts show enhanced uridylation and in vitro Dis3L2 displays a preference for uridylated substrates. Altogether, our results suggest that in S. pombe, and possibly in most other eukaryotes, Dis3L2 is an important factor in mRNA degradation. Therefore, this novel 30-50 RNA decay path- way represents an alternative to degradation by Xrn1 and the exosome.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Mitochondria are semiautonomous organelles which contain their own genome. Both maintenance and expression of mitochondrial DNA require activity of RNA and DNA helicases. In Saccharomyces cerevisiae the nuclear genome encodes four DExH/D supefamily members (MSS116, SUV3, MRH4, IRC3) that act as helicases and/or RNA chaperones. Their activity is necessary for mitochondrial RNA splicing, degradation, translation and genome maintenance. In humans the ortholog of SUV3 (hSUV3, SUPV3L1) so far is the best described mitochondrial RNA helicase. The enzyme, together with the matrix-localized pool of PNPase (PNPT1), forms an RNA-degrading complex called the mitochondrial degradosome, which localizes to distinct structures (D-foci). Global regulation of mitochondrially encoded genes can be achieved by changing mitochondrial DNA copy number. This way the proteins involved in its replication, like the Twinkle helicase (c10orf2), can indirectly regulate gene expression. Here, we describe yeast and human mitochondrial helicases that are directly involved in mitochondrial RNA metabolism, and present other helicases that participate in mitochondrial DNA replication and maintenance.
No preview · Article · Feb 2013 · Biochimica et Biophysica Acta
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Expression of mitochondrially encoded genes must be finely tuned according to the cell's requirements. Since yeast and human mitochondria have limited possibilities to regulate gene expression by altering the transcription initiation rate, posttranscriptional processes, including RNA degradation, are of great importance. In both organisms mitochondrial RNA degradation seems to be mostly depending on the RNA helicase Suv3. Yeast Suv3 functions in cooperation with Dss1 ribonuclease by forming a two-subunit complex called the mitochondrial degradosome. The human ortholog of Suv3 (hSuv3, hSuv3p, SUPV3L1) is also indispensable for mitochondrial RNA decay but its ribonucleolytic partner has so far escaped identification. In this review we summarize the current knowledge about RNA degradation in human and yeast mitochondria. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled: Mitochondrial Gene Expression.
No preview · Article · Dec 2011 · Biochimica et Biophysica Acta
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: An F(1)F(O) ATP synthase in the inner mitochondrial membrane catalyzes the late steps of ATP production via the process of oxidative phosphorylation. A small protein subunit (subunit c or ATP9) of this enzyme shows a substantial genetic diversity, and its gene can be found in both the mitochondrion and/or nucleus. In a representative set of 26 species of fungi for which the genomes have been entirely sequenced, we found five Atp9 gene repartitions. The phylogenetic distribution of nuclear and mitochondrial Atp9 genes suggests that their evolution has included two independent transfers to the nucleus followed by several independent episodes of the loss of the mitochondrial and/or nuclear gene. Interestingly, we found that in Podospora anserina, subunit c is exclusively produced from two nuclear genes (PaAtp9-5 and PaAtp9-7), which display different expression profiles through the life cycle of the fungus. The PaAtp9-5 gene is specifically and strongly expressed in germinating ascospores, whereas PaAtp9-7 is mostly transcribed during sexual reproduction. Consistent with these observations, deletion of PaAtp9-5 is lethal, whereas PaAtp9-7 deletion strongly impairs ascospore production. The P. anserina PaAtp9-5 and PaAtp9-7 genes are therefore nonredundant. By swapping the 5' and 3' flanking regions between genes we demonstrated, however, that the PaAtp9 coding sequences are functionally interchangeable. These findings show that after transfer to the nucleus, the subunit c gene in Podospora became a key target for the modulation of cellular energy metabolism according to the requirements of the life cycle.
Full-text · Article · Jun 2011 · Molecular Biology and Evolution
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Pentatricopeptide repeat (PPR) proteins are the largest known RNA-binding protein family, and are found in all eukaryotes, being particularly abundant in higher plants. PPR proteins localize mostly to mitochondria and chloroplasts, and many were shown to modulate organellar genome expression on the posttranscriptional level. Although the genomes of land plants encode hundreds of PPR proteins, only a few have been identified in Fungi and Metazoa. As the current PPR motif profiles are built mainly on the basis of the predominant plant sequences, they are unlikely to be optimal for detecting fungal and animal members of the family, and many putative PPR proteins in these genomes may remain undetected. In order to verify this hypothesis, we designed a hidden Markov model-based bioinformatic tool called Supervised Clustering-based Iterative Phylogenetic Hidden Markov Model algorithm for the Evaluation of tandem Repeat motif families (SCIPHER) using sequence data from orthologous clusters from available yeast genomes. This approach allowed us to assign 12 new proteins in Saccharomyces cerevisiae to the PPR family. Similarly, in other yeast species, we obtained a 5-fold increase in the detection of PPR motifs, compared with the previous tools. All the newly identified S. cerevisiae PPR proteins localize in the mitochondrion and are a part of the RNA processing interaction network. Furthermore, the yeast PPR proteins seem to undergo an accelerated divergent evolution. Analysis of single and double amino acid substitutions in the Dmr1 protein of S. cerevisiae suggests that cooperative interactions between motifs and pseudoreversion could be the force driving this rapid evolution.
Full-text · Article · May 2011 · Molecular Biology and Evolution
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Breast cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer in women. Despite recent advances in breast cancer research, a comprehensive set of genetic markers of increased breast cancer risk remain elusive. Recently mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) mutations have been found in many types of cancer, including breast cancer. To investigate the possible role of mitochondrial genetics in breast cancer predisposition and biology we analyzed the D-loop sequence of cancer patients and assigned mitochondrial haplogroup using RFLP analysis. We detected a significantly greater incidence of mtDNA polymorphisms T239C, A263G and C16207T and a significant lower incidence of A73G, C150T, T16183C, T16189C, C16223T, T16362C in patients with breast cancer compared to database controls. The mitochondrial haplogroup distribution in patients with breast cancer differs from a group of cancer-free controls and the general Polish population in that haplogroup I is over-represented in individuals with cancer. These findings suggest that mitochondrial haplogroup I as well as other polymorphic variants defined by SNPs in the D-loop may be associated with an increased risk of developing breast cancer.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: As a legacy of their endosymbiotic eubacterial origin, mitochondria possess a residual genome, encoding only a few proteins and dependent on a variety of factors encoded by the nuclear genome for its maintenance and expression. As a facultative anaerobe with well understood genetics and molecular biology, Saccharomyces cerevisiae is the model system of choice for studying nucleo-mitochondrial genetic interactions. Maintenance of the mitochondrial genome is controlled by a set of nuclear-coded factors forming intricately interconnected circuits responsible for replication, recombination, repair and transmission to buds. Expression of the yeast mitochondrial genome is regulated mostly at the post-transcriptional level, and involves many general and gene-specific factors regulating splicing, RNA processing and stability and translation. A very interesting aspect of the yeast mitochondrial system is the relationship between genome maintenance and gene expression. Deletions of genes involved in many different aspects of mitochondrial gene expression, notably translation, result in an irreversible loss of functional mtDNA. The mitochondrial genetic system viewed from the systems biology perspective is therefore very fragile and lacks robustness compared to the remaining systems of the cell. This lack of robustness could be a legacy of the reductive evolution of the mitochondrial genome, but explanations involving selective advantages of increased evolvability have also been postulated.
Full-text · Article · Jun 2010 · Biochimica et Biophysica Acta
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Pentatricopeptide repeat (PPR) proteins form the largest known RNA-binding protein family and are found in all eukaryotes, being particularly abundant in higher plants. PPR proteins localize mostly in mitochondria and chloroplasts, where they modulate organellar genome expression on the post-transcriptional level. The Saccharomyces cerevisiae DMR1 (CCM1, YGR150C) encodes a PPR protein that localizes to mitochondria. Deletion of DMR1 results in a complete and irreversible loss of respiratory capacity and loss of wild-type mtDNA by conversion to rho(-)/rho(0) petites, regardless of the presence of introns in mtDNA. The phenotype of the dmr1Delta mitochondria is characterized by fragmentation of the small subunit mitochondrial rRNA (15S rRNA), that can be reversed by wild-type Dmr1p. Other mitochondrial transcripts, including the large subunit mitochondrial rRNA (21S rRNA), are not affected by the lack of Dmr1p. The purified Dmr1 protein specifically binds to different regions of 15S rRNA in vitro, consistent with the deletion phenotype. Dmr1p is therefore the first yeast PPR protein, which has an rRNA target and is probably involved in the biogenesis of mitochondrial ribosomes and translation.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The mitochondrial degradosome (mtEXO) is the main enzymatic complex in RNA degradation, processing, and surveillance in Saccharomyces cerevisiae mitochondria. It consists of two nuclear-encoded subunits: the ATP-dependent RNA helicase Suv3p and the 3' to 5' exoribonuclease Dss1p. The two subunits depend on each other for their activity; the complex can therefore be considered as a model system for the cooperation of RNA helicases and exoribonucleases in RNA degradation. All the three activities of the complex (helicase, ATPase, and exoribonuclease) can be studied in vitro using recombinant proteins and protocols presented in this chapter.
No preview · Article · Jan 2010 · Methods in molecular biology (Clifton, N.J.)
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Endometrial carcinoma is the most commonly diagnosed gynaecological cancer in developed countries. Although the molecular genetics of this disease has been in the focus of many research laboratories for the last 20 years, relevant prognostic and diagnostic markers are still missing. At the same time mitochondrial DNA mutations have been reported in many types of cancer during the last two decades. It is therefore very likely that the mitochondrial genotype is one of the cancer susceptibility factors. To investigate the presence of mtDNA somatic mutations and distribution of inherited polymorphisms in endometrial adenocarcinoma patients we analyzed the D-loop sequence of cancer samples and their corresponding normal tissues and moreover performed mitochondrial haplogroup analysis. We detected 2 somatic mutation and increased incidence of mtDNA polymorphisms, in particular 16223C (80% patients, p = 0.005), 16126C (23%, p = 0.025) and 207A (19%, p = 0.027). Subsequent statistical analysis revealed that endometrial carcinoma population haplogroup distribution differs from the Polish population and that haplogroup H (with its defining polymorphism - C7028T) is strongly underrepresented (p = 0.003), therefore might be a cancer-protective factor. Our report supports the notion that mtDNA polymorphisms establish a specific genetic background for endometrial adenocarcinoma development and that mtDNA analysis may result in the development of new molecular tool for cancer detection.
Full-text · Article · Oct 2009 · International Archives of Medicine
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Mitochondria have been implicated in cell transformation since Otto Warburg considered 'respiration damage' to be a pivotal feature of cancer cells. Numerous somatic mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) mutations have been found in various types of neoplasms, including breast cancer. Establishing the mtDNA mutation pattern in breast cancer cells may enhance the specificity of cancer diagnostics, detection and prediction of cancer growth rate and/or patients' outcomes; and therefore be used as a new molecular cancer bio-marker. The aim of this review is to summarize data on mtDNA mutation involvement in breast cancer and estimate effects of resulting amino acid changes on mitochondrial protein function. In this article published mtDNA mutation analyses are critically evaluated and interpreted in the functional context.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Genetic inactivation of the nuclear-encoded mitochondrial heart-muscle adenine nucleotide translocator-1 (ANT1), which exports mitochondrial ATP to the cytosol in both humans (ANT1-/-) and mice (Ant1-/-), results in lactic acidosis and mitochondrial cardiomyopathy and myopathy, the latter involving hyper-proliferation of mitochondria, induction of oxidative phosphorylation (OXPHOS) enzymes, increased reactive oxygen species (ROS), and excessive mtDNA damage. To understand these manifestations, we analyzed Ant1-/- mouse skeletal muscle for changes in gene expression using our custom 644 and 1087 gene MITOCHIP microarrays and for changes in the protein levels of key mitochondrial transcription factors. Thirty-four mRNAs were found to be up-regulated and 29 mRNAs were down-regulated. Up-regulated mRNAs included the mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) polypeptide and rRNA genes, selected nuclear-encoded OXPHOS genes, and stress-response genes including Mcl-1. Down-regulated mRNAs included glycolytic genes, pro-apoptotic genes, and c-Myc. The mitochondrial regulatory proteins Pgc-1alpha, Nrf-1, Tfam, and myogenin were up-regulated and could account for the induction of the OXPHOS and antioxidant enzymes. By contrast, c-Myc levels were reduced and might account for a reduction in apoptotic potential. Therefore, the Ant1-/- mouse skeletal muscle demonstrates that energy metabolism, antioxidant defenses, and apoptosis form an integrated metabolic network.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The mitochondrial degradosome (mtEXO) of S. cerevisiae is the main exoribonuclease of yeast mitochondria. It is involved in many pathways of mitochondrial RNA metabolism, including RNA degradation, surveillance, and processing, and its activity is essential for mitochondrial gene function. The mitochondrial degradosome is a very simple example of a 3' to 5'-exoribonucleolytic complex. It is composed of only two subunits: Dss1p, which is an RNR (RNase II-like) family exoribonuclease, and Suv3p, which is a DExH/D-box RNA helicase. The two subunits form a tight complex and their activities are highly interdependent, with the RNase activity greatly enhanced in the presence of the helicase subunit, and the helicase activity entirely dependent on the presence of the ribonuclease subunit. In this chapter, we present methods for studying the function of the yeast mitochondrial degradosome in vivo, through the analysis of degradosome-deficient mutant yeast strains, and in vitro, through heterologous expression in E. coli and purification of the degradosome subunits and reconstitution of a functional complex. We provide the protocols for studying ribonuclease, ATPase, and helicase activities and for measuring the RNA binding capacity of the complex and its subunits.
No preview · Article · Feb 2008 · Methods in enzymology
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The mitochondrial degradosome (mtEXO), the main RNA-degrading complex of yeast mitochondria, is composed of two subunits: an exoribonuclease encoded by the DSS1 gene and an RNA helicase encoded by the SUV3 gene. We expressed both subunits of the yeast mitochondrial degradosome in Escherichia coli, reconstituted the complex in vitro and analyzed the RNase, ATPase and helicase activities of the two subunits separately and in complex. The results reveal a very strong functional interdependence. For every enzymatic activity, we observed significant changes when the relevant protein was present in the complex, compared to the activity measured for the protein alone. The ATPase activity of Suv3p is stimulated by RNA and its background activity in the absence of RNA is reduced greatly when the protein is in the complex with Dss1p. The Suv3 protein alone does not display RNA-unwinding activity and the 3' to 5' directional helicase activity requiring a free 3' single-stranded substrate becomes apparent only when Suv3p is in complex with Dss1p. The Dss1 protein alone does have some basal exoribonuclease activity, which is not ATP-dependent, but in the presence of Suv3p the activity of the entire complex is enhanced greatly and is entirely ATP-dependent, with no residual activity observed in the absence of ATP. Such absolute ATP-dependence is unique among known exoribonuclease complexes. On the basis of these results, we propose a model in which the Suv3p RNA helicase acts as a molecular motor feeding the substrate to the catalytic centre of the RNase subunit.
Full-text · Article · Oct 2007 · Journal of Molecular Biology
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Many nuclear genes encoding mitochondrial proteins require specific localization of their mRNAs to the vicinity of mitochondria for proper expression. Studies in Saccharomyces cerevisiae have shown that the cis-acting signal responsible for subcellular localization of mRNAs is localized in the 3' UTR of the transcript. In this paper we present an in silico approach for prediction of a common perimitochondrial localization signal of nuclear transcripts encoding mitochondrial proteins. We computed a consensus structure for this signal by comparison of 3' UTR models for about 3000 yeast transcripts with known localization. Our studies show a short stem-loop structure which appears in most mRNAs localized to the vicinity of mitochondria. The degree of similarity of a given 3' UTR to our consensus structure strongly correlates with experimentally determined perimitochondrial localization of the mRNA, therefore we believe that the structure we predicted acts as a subcellular localization signal. Since our algorithm operates on structures, it seems to be more reliable than sequence-based algorithms. The good predictive value of our model is supported by statistical analysis.
Full-text · Article · Feb 2007 · Acta biochimica Polonica