The mitochondrial genome almost exclusively encodes a handful of transmembrane constituents of the oxidative phosphorylation (OXPHOS) system. Coordinated expression of these genes ensures the correct stoichiometry of the system's components. Translation initiation in mitochondria is assisted by two general initiation factors mIF2 and mIF3, orthologues of which in bacteria are indispensible for protein synthesis and viability. mIF3 was thought to be absent in Saccharomyces cerevisiae until we recently identified mitochondrial protein Aim23 as the missing orthologue. Here we show that, surprisingly, loss of mIF3/Aim23 in S. cerevisiae does not indiscriminately abrogate mitochondrial translation but rather causes an imbalance in protein production: the rate of synthesis of the Atp9 subunit of F1F0 ATP synthase (complex V) is increased, while expression of Cox1, Cox2 and Cox3 subunits of cytochrome c oxidase (complex IV) is repressed. Our results provide one more example of deviation of mitochondrial translation from its bacterial origins.
2016. Vol. 6, 18749