Typically, animal mitochondria have very compact genomes, with few short intergenic regions, and no introns. Hence, it may seem that there is little space for unknown functions in mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA). However, mtDNA can also operate through RNA interference, as small non coding RNAs (sncRNAs) produced by mtDNA have already been proposed for humans. We sequenced sncRNA libraries from isolated mitochondria of Ruditapes philippinarum (Mollusca Bivalvia) gonads, a species with doubly uniparental inheritance of mitochondria, and identified several putative sncRNAs of mitochondrial origin. Some sncRNAs are transcribed by intergenic regions that form stable stem-hairpin structures, which makes them good miRNA-like candidates. We decided to name them small mitochondrial highly-transcribed RNAs (smithRNAs). Many concurrent data support that we have recovered sncRNAs of mitochondrial origin that might be involved in gonad formation and able to affect nuclear gene expression. This possibility has been never suggested before. If mtDNA can affect nuclear gene expression through RNA interference, this opens a plethora of new possibilities for it to interact with the nucleus, and makes metazoan mtDNA a much more complex genome than previously thought.

SmithRNAs: Could Mitochondria “Bend” Nuclear Regulation?

Federico Plazzi;Liliana Milani;Fabrizio Ghiselli;Marco Passamonti
2017

Abstract

Typically, animal mitochondria have very compact genomes, with few short intergenic regions, and no introns. Hence, it may seem that there is little space for unknown functions in mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA). However, mtDNA can also operate through RNA interference, as small non coding RNAs (sncRNAs) produced by mtDNA have already been proposed for humans. We sequenced sncRNA libraries from isolated mitochondria of Ruditapes philippinarum (Mollusca Bivalvia) gonads, a species with doubly uniparental inheritance of mitochondria, and identified several putative sncRNAs of mitochondrial origin. Some sncRNAs are transcribed by intergenic regions that form stable stem-hairpin structures, which makes them good miRNA-like candidates. We decided to name them small mitochondrial highly-transcribed RNAs (smithRNAs). Many concurrent data support that we have recovered sncRNAs of mitochondrial origin that might be involved in gonad formation and able to affect nuclear gene expression. This possibility has been never suggested before. If mtDNA can affect nuclear gene expression through RNA interference, this opens a plethora of new possibilities for it to interact with the nucleus, and makes metazoan mtDNA a much more complex genome than previously thought.
MOLECULAR BIOLOGY AND EVOLUTION
Andrea, Pozzi; Federico, Plazzi; Liliana, Milani; Fabrizio, Ghiselli; Marco, Passamonti
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11585/615444
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