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Mitochondrial biogenesis and function require the regulated and coordinated expression of nuclear and mitochondrial genomes throughout plant development and in response to cellular and environmental signals. To investigate the levels at which the expression of nuclear and mitochondrially encoded proteins is coordinated, we established an Arabidopsis thaliana cell culture system to modulate mitochondrial biogenesis in response to sugar starvation and refeeding. Sucrose deprivation led to structural changes in mitochondria, a decrease in mitochondrial volume, and a reduction in the rate of cellular respiration. All these changes could be reversed by the readdition of sucrose. Analysis of the relative mRNA transcript abundance of genes encoding nuclear and mitochondrially encoded proteins revealed that there was no coordination of expression of the two genomes at the transcript level. An analysis of changes in abundance and assembly of nuclear-encoded and mitochondrially encoded subunits of complexes I to V of the mitochondrial inner membrane in organello protein synthesis and competence for protein import by isolated mitochondria suggested that coordination occurs at the level of protein-complex assembly. These results further suggest that expression of the mitochondrial genome is insensitive to the stress imposed by sugar starvation and that mitochondrial biogenesis is regulated by changes in nuclear gene expression and coordinated at the posttranslational level.

Original publication

DOI

10.1105/tpc.104.030254

Type

Journal article

Journal

Plant Cell

Publication Date

05/2005

Volume

17

Pages

1497 - 1512

Keywords

Arabidopsis, Cell Nucleus, Gene Expression Regulation, Plant, Genome, Plant, Intracellular Membranes, Mitochondria, Mitochondrial Proteins, Nuclear Proteins, Plant Proteins, Protein Processing, Post-Translational, Protein Subunits, RNA, Messenger, Sucrose