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Gonzalez-Halphen, D; King, MP; Davidson, E; Garcia-Trejo, JJ; Cortes-Hernandez, P; Vazquez-Acevedo, M; Figueroa-Martinez, F (2011)

WHAT LIMITS THE ALLOTOPIC EXPRESSION OF NUCLEUS-ENCODED MITOCHONDRIAL GENES THE CASE OF THE CHIMERIC COX3 AND ATP6 GENES

MITOCHONDRION 11(1):147-154
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Allotopic expression is potentially a gene therapy for mtDNA-related diseases. Some OXPHOS proteins like ATP6 (subunit a of complex V) and COX3 (subunit III of complex IV) that are typically mtDNA-encoded, are naturally nucleus-encoded in the alga Chlamydomonas reinhardtii The mitochondrial proteins whose genes have been relocated to the nucleus exhibit long mitochondrial targeting sequences ranging from 100 to 140 residues and a diminished overall mean hydrophobicity when compared with their mtDNA-encoded counterparts. We explored the allotopic expression of the human gene products COX3 and ATP6 that were re-designed for mitochondrial import by emulating the structural properties of the corresponding algal proteins. In vivo and in vitro data in homoplasmic human mutant cells carrying either a T8993G mutation in the mitochondria( (106 gene or a 15 bp deletion in the mtDNA-encoded cox3 gene suggest that these human mitochondrial proteins re-designed for nuclear expression are targeted to the mitochondria, but fail to functionally integrate into their corresponding OXPHOS complexes. (C) 2010 Published by Elsevier B.V. on behalf of Mitochondria Research Society. All rights reserved.