* To whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received May 18, 2021; Revised July 19, 2021; Accepted July 19, 2021
Despite its similarity to protein biosynthesis in bacteria, translation in the mitochondria of modern eukaryotes has several unique features, such as the necessity for coordination of translation of mitochondrial mRNAs encoding proteins of the electron transport chain complexes with translation of other protein components of these complexes in the cytosol. In the mitochondria of baker’s yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae, this coordination is carried out by a system of translational activators that predominantly interact with the 5′-untranslated regions of mitochondrial mRNAs. No such system has been found in human mitochondria, except a single identified translational activator, TACO1. Here, we studied the role of the ZMYND17 gene, an ortholog of the yeast gene for the translational activator Mss51p, on the mitochondrial translation in human cells. Deletion of the ZMYND17 gene did not affect translation in the mitochondria, but led to the decrease in the cytochrome c oxidase activity and increase in the amount of free F1 subunit of ATP synthase. We also investigated the evolutionary history of Mss51p and ZMYND17 and suggested a possible mechanism for the divergence of functions of these orthologous proteins.
KEY WORDS: mitochondria, translation, translational activators, translation regulation