Expression of the rDNA-encoded mitochondrial protein Tar1p is stringently controlled and responds differentially to mitochondrial respiratory demand and dysfunction.
Bonawitz ND, Chatenay-Lapointe M, Wearn CM, Shadel GS
Current Genetics (2008)
Category: mitochondria ¤ Added: Jul 25, 2008 ¤ Rating: ◊◊
The novel yeast protein Tar1p is encoded on the anti-sense strand of the multi-copy nuclear 25S rRNA gene, localizes to mitochondria, and partially suppresses the mitochondrial RNA polymerase mutant, rpo41-R129D. However, the function of Tar1p in mitochondria and how its expression is regulated are currently unknown. Here we report that Tar1p is subject to glucose repression and is up-regulated during post-diauxic shift in glucose medium and in glycerol medium, conditions requiring elevated mitochondrial respiration. However, Tar1p expression is down-regulated in response to mitochondrial dysfunction caused by the rpo41-R129D mutation or in strains lacking respiration. Furthermore, in contrast to the previously reported beneficial effects of moderate over-expression of Tar1p in the rpo41-R129D strain, higher-level over-expression exacerbates the ROS-derived phenotypes of this mutant, including decreased respiration and life span. Finally, two-hybrid screening and in vitro-binding studies revealed a physical interaction between Tar1p and Coq5p, an enzyme involved in synthesizing the mitochondrial electron carrier and antioxidant, coenzyme Q. We propose that Tar1p expression is induced under respiratory conditions to maintain oxidative phosphorylation capacity, but that its levels in mitochondria are typically low and stringently controlled. Furthermore, we speculate that Tar1p is down-regulated when respiration is defective to prevent deleterious ROS-dependent consequences of mitochondrial dysfunction.