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Open AccessFeature PaperPerspective

A Mitochondrial Encoded Messenger at the Nucleus

1
Department of Biochemistry, Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine, Singapore 117597, Singapore
2
NUS Graduate School for Integrative Sciences and Engineering, National University of Singapore, Singapore 117456, Singapore
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Cells 2018, 7(8), 105; https://doi.org/10.3390/cells7080105
Received: 31 July 2018 / Revised: 10 August 2018 / Accepted: 11 August 2018 / Published: 13 August 2018
Mitochondria–nucleus (mitonuclear) retrograde signaling via nuclear import of otherwise mitochondrial targeted factors occurs during mitochondrial unfolded protein response (UPRmt), a mechanism that counters mitochondrial and cellular stresses. Other than nuclear encoded proteins, mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA)-encoded peptides, such as humanin, are known to have important pro-survival and metabolic regulatory functions. A recent report has indicated that another mtDNA-encoded peptide, the mitochondrial open reading frame of the 12S rRNA-c (MOTS-c), could translocate into the nucleus upon stress induction. In the nucleus, MOTS-c binds to DNA and regulates the transcription of stress response genes in concert with other transcription factors. This is the first clear example of a mitochondria-derived peptide (MDP) acting in the nucleus to affect transcriptional responses to stress. Thus, MOTS-c may bear some characteristics of a ‘mitokine’ factor that mediates mitohormesis, influencing cell survival as well as organismal health and longevity. View Full-Text
Keywords: AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK); humanin; mitochondria; mitochondrial open reading frame of the 12S rRNA-c (MOTS-c); mitochondrial unfolded protein response (UPRmt) AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK); humanin; mitochondria; mitochondrial open reading frame of the 12S rRNA-c (MOTS-c); mitochondrial unfolded protein response (UPRmt)
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Yong, C.Q.Y.; Tang, B.L. A Mitochondrial Encoded Messenger at the Nucleus. Cells 2018, 7, 105.

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