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Normal mitochondrial function in Saccharomyces cerevisiae has become dependent on inefficient splicing

Rudan, Marina; Dib, Peter Bou; Musa, Marina; Kanunnikau, Matea; Sobočanec, Sandra; Rueda, David; Warnecke, Tobias; Kriško, Anita (2018) Normal mitochondrial function in Saccharomyces cerevisiae has become dependent on inefficient splicing. eLife, 7 . ISSN 2050-084X

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Self-splicing introns are mobile elements that have invaded a number of highly conserved genes in prokaryotic and organellar genomes. Here, we show that deletion of these selfish elements from the Saccharomyces cerevisiae mitochondrial genome is stressful to the host. A strain without mitochondrial introns displays hallmarks of the retrograde response, with altered mitochondrial morphology, gene expression and metabolism impacting growth and lifespan. Deletion of the complete suite of mitochondrial introns is phenocopied by overexpression of the splicing factor Mss116. We show that, in both cases, abnormally efficient transcript maturation results in excess levels of mature cob and cox1 host mRNA. Thus, inefficient splicing has become an integral part of normal mitochondrial gene expression. We propose that the persistence of S. cerevisiae self-splicing introns has been facilitated by an evolutionary lock-in event, where the host genome adapted to primordial invasion in a way that incidentally rendered subsequent intron loss deleterious.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Saccharomyces cerevisiae; mitochondria; lifespan; splicing, genome
Subjects: NATURAL SCIENCES > Biology
BIOMEDICINE AND HEALTHCARE > Basic Medical Sciences > Human Genetics, Genomics and Proteomics
Divisions: Division of Molecular Medicine
Depositing User: Sandra Sobočanec
Date Deposited: 19 Nov 2019 11:25
DOI: 10.7554/eLife.35330

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