bims-plasge Biomed News
on Plastid genes
Issue of 2022‒06‒26
one paper selected by
Vera S. Bogdanova
Institute of Cytology and Genetics, Siberian Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences

  1. Plant Physiol. 2022 Jun 25. pii: kiac309. [Epub ahead of print]
      Gene expression in plant mitochondria is predominantly governed at the post-transcriptional level and relies mostly on nuclear-encoded proteins. However, the protein factors involved and the underlying molecular mechanisms are still not well understood. Here, we report on the function of the MITOCHONDRIAL STABILITY FACTOR 3 (MTSF3) protein and show that it is essential for accumulation of the mitochondrial NADH dehydrogenase subunit 2 (nad2) transcript in Arabidopsis (Arabidopsis thaliana) but not for splicing of nad2 intron 2 as recently proposed. The MTSF3 gene encodes a pentatricopeptide repeat protein that localizes in the mitochondrion. An MTSF3 null mutation induces embryonic lethality, but viable mtsf3 mutant plants can be generated through partial complementation with the developmentally regulated ABSCISIC ACID INSENSITIVE3 promoter. Genetic analyses revealed growth retardation in rescued mtsf3 plants owing to the specific destabilization of a nad2 precursor transcript bearing exons 3 to 5. Biochemical data demonstrate that MTSF3 protein specifically binds to the 3' terminus of nad2. Destabilization of nad2 mRNA induces a substantial decrease in complex I assembly and activity and overexpression of the alternative respiratory pathway. Our results support a role for MTSF3 protein in protecting nad2 transcripts from degradation by mitochondrial exoribonucleases by binding to their 3' extremities.