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Mitochondrial tRNA import--the challenge to understand has just begun

, : Mitochondrial tRNA import--the challenge to understand has just begun. Biological Chemistry 390(8): 717-722

Mitochondrial translation is important for the synthesis of proteins involved in oxidative phosphorylation, which yields the bulk of the ATP made in cells. During evolution most mitochondria-containing organisms have lost tRNA genes from their mitochondrial genomes. Thus, to support the essential process of nuanced mitochondrial translation, mechanisms to actively transport tRNAs from the cytoplasm across the mitochondrial membranes into the mitochondrion have evolved. Here, we review the currently known tRNA import mechanisms, comment on recent discoveries of various import factors, and suggest a rationale for forces that lie behind the evolution of mitochondrial tRNA import.


PMID: 19558325

DOI: 10.1515/BC.2009.101

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