Distinctive features of the 5'-terminal sequences of the human mitochondrial mRNAs

Nature. 1981 Apr 9;290(5806):465-70. doi: 10.1038/290465a0.


The 5'-end proximal sequences of all the putative mRNAs coded for by the heavy strand of HeLa cell mitochondrial DNA have been determined and aligned with the DNA sequence. All these mRNAs start directly at, or very near to, an AUG or AUA triplet, with the exception of one which starts at an AUU. The available evidence indicates that the terminal or subterminal AUGs and AUAs, and possibly also the terminal AUU, are initiator codons for the corresponding polypeptides. In most cases, the individual mRNA coding sequences are flanked on their 5' side by a tRNA gene, without any intervening nucleotide.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Base Sequence
  • Binding Sites
  • DNA, Mitochondrial / genetics*
  • Genes
  • Genetic Linkage
  • HeLa Cells
  • Humans
  • Mitochondria
  • Peptide Chain Initiation, Translational
  • RNA, Messenger / genetics*
  • RNA, Mitochondrial
  • RNA, Transfer / genetics
  • Ribosomes / metabolism


  • DNA, Mitochondrial
  • RNA, Messenger
  • RNA, Mitochondrial
  • mitochondrial messenger RNA
  • RNA, Transfer

Associated data

  • GENBANK/J01415
  • GENBANK/M12548