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A building-block model reveals new insights into the biogenesis of yeast mitochondrial ribosomes

  • Most of the mitochondrial proteins in yeast are encoded in the nuclear genome, get synthesized by cytosolic ribosomes and are imported via TOM and TIM23 into the matrix or other subcompartments of mitochondria. The mitochondrial DNA in yeast however also encodes a small set of 8 proteins from which most are hydrophobic membrane proteins and build core components of the OXPHOS complexes. They get synthesized by mitochondrial ribosomes which are descendants of bacterial ribosomes and still have some similarities to them. On the other hand, mitochondrial ribosomes experienced various structural and functional changes during evolution that specialized them for the synthesis of the mitochondrial encoded membrane proteins. The mitoribosome contains mitochondria-specific ribosomal proteins and replaced the bacterial 5S rRNA by mitochondria-specific proteins and rRNA extensions. Furthermore, the mitoribosome is tethered to the inner mitochondrial membrane to facilitate a co-translational insertion of newly synthesized proteins. Thus, also the assembly process of mitoribosomes differs from that of bacteria and is to date not well understood. Therefore, the biogenesis of mitochondrial ribosomes in yeast should be investigated. To this end, a strain was generated in which the gene of the mitochondrial RNA-polymerase RPO41 is under control of an inducible GAL10-promoter. Since the scaffold of ribosomes is built by ribosomal RNAs, the depletion of the RNA-polymerase subsequently leads to a loss of mitochondrial ribosomes. Reinduction of Rpo41 initiates the assembly of new mitoribosomes, which makes this strain an attractive model to study mitoribosome biogenesis. Initially, the effects of Rpo41 depletion on cellular and mitochondrial physiology was investigated. Upon Rpo41 depletion, growth on respiratory glycerol medium was inhibited. Furthermore, mitochondrial ribosomal 21S and 15S rRNA was diminished and mitochondrial translation was almost completely absent. Also, mitochondrial DNA was strongly reduced due to the fact that mtDNA replication requires RNA primers that get synthesized by Rpo41. Next, the effect of reinduction of Rpo41 on mitochondria was tested. Time course experiments showed that mitochondrial translation can partially recover from 48h Rpo41 depletion within a timeframe of 4.5h. Sucrose gradient sedimentation experiments further showed that the mitoribosomal constitution was comparable to wildtype control samples during the time course of 4.5h of reinduction, suggesting that the ribosome assembly is not fundamentally altered in Gal-Rpo41 mitochondria. In addition, the depletion time was found to be critical for recovery of mitochondrial translation and mitochondrial RNA levels. It was observed that after 36h of Rpo41 depletion, the rRNA levels and mitochondrial translation recovered to almost 100%, but only within a time course of 10h. Finally, mitochondria from Gal-Rpo41 cells isolated after different timepoints of reinduction were used to perform complexome profiling and the assembly of mitochondrial protein complexes was investigated. First, the steady state conditions and the assembly process of mitochondrial respiratory chain complexes were monitored. The individual respiratory chain complexes and the super-complexes of complex III, complex IV and complex V were observed. Furthermore, it was seen that they recovered from Rpo41 depletion within 4.5h of reinduction. Complexome profiles of the mitoribosomal small and large subunit discovered subcomplexes of mitoribosomal proteins that were assumed to form prior to their incorporation into assembly intermediates. The complexome profiles after reinduction indeed showed the formation of these subcomplexes before formation of the fully assembled subunit. In the mitochondrial LSU one subcomplex builds the membrane facing protuberance and a second subcomplex forms the central protuberance. In contrast to the preassembled subcomplexes, proteins that were involved in early assembly steps were exclusively found in the fully assembled subunit. Proteins that assemble at the periphery of the mitoribosome during intermediate and late assembly steps where found in soluble form suggesting a pool of unassembled proteins that supply assembly intermediates with proteins. Taken together, the findings of this thesis suggest a so far unknow building-block model for mitoribosome assembly in which characteristic structures of the yeast mitochondrial ribosome form preassembled subcomplexes prior to their incorporation into the mitoribosome.

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Author:Steffen Hess
URN (permanent link):urn:nbn:de:hbz:386-kluedo-60958
Advisor:Johannes M. Herrmann
Document Type:Doctoral Thesis
Language of publication:English
Publication Date:2020/09/29
Year of Publication:2020
Publishing Institute:Technische Universität Kaiserslautern
Granting Institute:Technische Universität Kaiserslautern
Acceptance Date of the Thesis:2020/09/17
Date of the Publication (Server):2020/09/30
Number of page:82
Faculties / Organisational entities:Fachbereich Biologie
DDC-Cassification:5 Naturwissenschaften und Mathematik / 570 Biowissenschaften, Biologie
Licence (German):Creative Commons 4.0 - Namensnennung, nicht kommerziell, keine Bearbeitung (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0)