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, 50 (4), 164-174

Mitochondrial Noncoding RNA Transport


Mitochondrial Noncoding RNA Transport

Kyoung Mi Kim et al. BMB Rep.


Mitochondria are cytosolic organelles essential for generating energy and maintaining cell homeostasis. Despite their critical function, the handful of proteins expressed by the mitochondrial genome is insufficient to maintain mitochondrial structure or activity. Accordingly, mitochondrial metabolism is fully dependent on factors encoded by the nuclear DNA, including many proteins synthesized in the cytosol and imported into mitochondria via established mechanisms. However, there is growing evidence that mammalian mitochondria can also import cytosolic noncoding RNA via poorly understood processes. Here, we summarize our knowledge of mitochondrial RNA, discuss recent progress in understanding the molecular mechanisms and functional impact of RNA import into mitochondria, and identify rising challenges and opportunities in this rapidly evolving field. [BMB Reports 2017; 50(4): 164-174].

Conflict of interest statement


The authors have no conflicting financial interests.


Fig. 1
Fig. 1
Schematic of the ncRNAs transported through the mitochondrial outer and inner membranes (OM, IM). Left, ncRNAs synthesized in mitochondria but found elsewhere (nucleus and extracellular space); right, ncRNAs synthesized in the nucleus and found in mitochondria, including tRNAs, 5S rRNA, lncRNAs like RMRP, and microRNAs and their precursors. Transport factors identified as mediators of these processes, including many ncRNA-interacting RBPs, are indicated. Yellow, nucleus; gray, cytoplasm; blue, mitochondria; pink, extracellular space.

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