Premature 3'-end formation of CBP1 mRNA results in the downregulation of cytochrome b mRNA during the induction of respiration in Saccharomyces cerevisiae

Kimberly A. Sparks, Stephen A. Mayer, Carol L Dieckmann

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The yeast mitochondrial genome encodes only seven major components of the respiratory chain and ATP synthase; more than 200 other mitochondrial proteins are encoded by nuclear genes. Thus, assembly of functional mitochondria requires coordinate expression of nuclear and mitochondrial genes. One example of coordinate regulation is the stabilization of mitochondrial COB (cytochrome b) mRNA by Cbp1, the product of the nuclear gene CBP1 (cytochrome b processing). CBP1 produces two types of transcripts with different 3' ends: full-length 2.2-kb transcripts and 1.2-kb transcripts truncated within the coding sequence of Cbp1. Upon induction of respiration, the steady-state level of the long transcripts decreases while that of the short transcripts increases reciprocally, an unexpected result since the product of the long transcripts is required for COB mRNA stability and thus for respiration. Here we have tested the hypothesis that the short transcripts, or proteins translated from the short transcripts, are also required for respiration. A protein translated from the short transcripts was not detected by Western analysis, although polysome gradient fractions were shown to contain both long and short CBP1 transcripts. A mutant strain in which production of the short transcripts was abolished showed wild-type growth properties, indicating that the short transcripts are not required for respiration. Due to mutation of the carbon source-responsive element, the long transcript level in the mutant strain did not decrease during induction of respiration. The mutant strain had increased levels of COB RNA, suggestive that production of short CBP1 transcripts is a mechanism for downregulation of the levels of long CBP1 transcripts, Cbp1, and COB mRNA during the induction of respiration.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4199-4207
Number of pages9
JournalMolecular and Cellular Biology
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - Aug 1997


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics
  • Cell Biology

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