How to build a ribosome from RNA fragments in Chlamydomonas mitochondria

Waltz, Florent and Salinas-Giegé, Thalia and Englmeier, Robert and Meichel, Herrade and Soufari, Heddy and Kuhn, Lauriane and Pfeffer, Stefan and Förster, Friedrich and Engel, Benjamin D. and Giegé, Philippe and Drouard, Laurence and Hashem, Yaser. (2021) How to build a ribosome from RNA fragments in Chlamydomonas mitochondria. Nature Communications, 12 (1). p. 7176.

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Mitochondria are the powerhouse of eukaryotic cells. They possess their own gene expression machineries where highly divergent and specialized ribosomes, named hereafter mitoribosomes, translate the few essential messenger RNAs still encoded by mitochondrial genomes. Here, we present a biochemical and structural characterization of the mitoribosome in the model green alga Chlamydomonas reinhardtii, as well as a functional study of some of its specific components. Single particle cryo-electron microscopy resolves how the Chlamydomonas mitoribosome is assembled from 13 rRNA fragments encoded by separate non-contiguous gene pieces. Additional proteins, mainly OPR, PPR and mTERF helical repeat proteins, are found in Chlamydomonas mitoribosome, revealing the structure of an OPR protein in complex with its RNA binding partner. Targeted amiRNA silencing indicates that these ribosomal proteins are required for mitoribosome integrity. Finally, we use cryo-electron tomography to show that Chlamydomonas mitoribosomes are attached to the inner mitochondrial membrane via two contact points mediated by Chlamydomonas-specific proteins. Our study expands our understanding of mitoribosome diversity and the various strategies these specialized molecular machines adopt for membrane tethering.
Faculties and Departments:05 Faculty of Science > Departement Biozentrum > Structural Biology & Biophysics > Structural Biology and Biophysics (Engel)
UniBasel Contributors:Waltz, Florent and Engel, Ben
Item Type:Article, refereed
Article Subtype:Research Article
Publisher:Nature Publishing Group
Note:Publication type according to Uni Basel Research Database: Journal article
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Last Modified:23 Aug 2022 09:38
Deposited On:23 Aug 2022 09:38

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