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A non-coding RNA molecule regulates mitochondrial gene expression in human cells, examine reveals

A brand new examine printed within the journal Cell reveals {that a} non-coding RNA molecule regulates mitochondrial gene expression in human cells. The work outcomes from a collaboration between the College of Gothenburg and Karolinska Institutet, each Sweden, and the College of Cologne, Germany.

Mitochondria are the powerhouses of cells and are essential for changing power from our meals into the type of power required for varied mobile capabilities. A peculiar facet of mitochondria is the existence of a separate mitochondrial genome, which, when broken, may cause critical ailments, affecting high-energy tissues just like the mind and coronary heart. Therefore, it’s essential to check how mitochondrial gene expression is regulated to – in the long run – discover methods to regulate this course of with therapies.

Human mitochondrial 7S RNA belongs to a big household of non-coding RNA molecules important for correct growth in mammals. It was beforehand recognized that ranges of mitochondrial 7S RNA range relying on the metabolic wants of the eukaryotic cell, however the molecular foundation and practical implications for these adjustments had been unknown. Of their work, the scientists developed strategies to check the results of 7S RNA each on purified proteins and mitochondrial gene exercise in cells.

Essentially the most thrilling factor in regards to the examine is that we determine a very new mechanism for regulation of mitochondrial exercise. Our findings reveal the operate of 7S RNA, a molecule recognized already 40 years in the past. Regardless of 7S RNA being ample and steadily measured in research of mitochondrial operate, its physiological function has remained an enigma till now. We’re thrilled that we, in collaboration, may decide a cryo-EM construction that reveals the possible mechanism for the way 7S RNA inhibits mitochondrial gene exercise.”

Xuefeng Zhu, First Writer

Xuefeng, and Xie Xie, each at College of Gothenburg, share the primary authorship of the article with Hrishikesh Das at Karolinska Insititutet.

Non-coding RNA molecules play an vital function in regulation of varied processes within the nucleus, however an outlined function in regulation of mitochondrial operate has not beforehand been reported. “Our discovering reveals a brand new and physiologically related degree of regulation in human mitochondria. The problem now’s to grasp how 7S RNA ranges are fine-tuned in response to the metabolic wants of the human cell. Now we have concepts and can attempt to discover them within the years to come back,” says Xie Xie, who carried out the work as a postdoctoral pupil at College of Gothenburg, however now works as a scientist at Pretzel Therapeutics, a start-up creating new methods to handle mitochondrial dysfunction.

“This can be a new precept for regulating mitochondrial exercise and future therapies concentrating on 7S RNA manufacturing, could be worthwhile”, says Maria Falkenberg, professor on the College of Gothenburg, who led the examine along with Martin Hällberg at Karolinska Insititutet. Nevertheless, the sensible implications of the work will take years to discover. “These are early days, however this may open a brand new subject in mitochondrial analysis” says Martin Hällberg.


Journal reference:

Zhu, X., et al. (2022) Non-coding 7S RNA inhibits transcription through mitochondrial RNA polymerase dimerization. Cell.



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