Mitochondria are essential for the eukaryotic cell and are derived from the endosymbiosis of an α-proteobacterial ancestor. Compared to other eukaryotes, RNA metabolism in plant mitochondria is complex and combines bacterial-like traits with novel features that evolved in the host cell. These complex RNA processes are regulated by families of nucleus-encoded RNA-binding proteins. Transcription is particularly relaxed and is initiated from multiple promoters covering the entire genome. The variety of RNA precursors accumulating in mitochondria highlights the importance of post-transcriptional processes to determine the size and abundance of transcripts. Here we review RNA metabolism in plant mitochondria, from RNA transcription to translation, with a special focus on their unique features that are controlled by trans-factors.
Keywords: RNA-binding proteins; gene expression; organelle; post-transcriptional steps; regulatory factors.
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