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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

The S12 ribosomal protein of Podospora anserina belongs to the S19 bacterial family and controls the mitochondrial genome integrity through cytoplasmic translation.

In the filamentous fungus Podospora anserina, two nuclear genes are involved in the premature death syndrome associated with a site-specific deletion of the mitochondrial DNA: a mutant allele of the AS1 gene, encoding the cytoplasmic ribosomal protein S12, and an uncharacterized gene closely linked to the mating-type locus. We describe here the cloning and the sequencing of the wild-type and two mutant alleles of the AS1 gene. The P. anserina S12 protein belongs to the bacterial S19 ribosomal protein family and shows 72% identity with the S15 human ribosomal protein. Transformation experiments have shown that the AS1-4 mutation itself is responsible for the premature death phenotype and that it corresponds to a Gly to Asp change in the highly conserved COOH-terminal part of the protein. Use of antibodies directed against S12 did not permit detection of the mutant ribosomal protein inside the mitochondria. However, cross-reactions were observed with at least one mitochondrial ribosomal protein displaying a higher molecular weight than S12. The mitochondrial protein does not seem to be a by-product of the AS1 gene but is more likely the mitochondrial homologue of S12. These results strongly suggest that the mutant S12 protein acts indirectly to promote the mitochondrial deletion, via the cytoplasmic translation.[1]


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