Toggle Main Menu Toggle Search

Open Access padlockePrints

Mammalian mitochondrial translation - revealing consequences of divergent evolution

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Rawaa Al-Faresi, Professor Robert Lightowlers, Professor Zofia Chrzanowska-LightowlersORCiD



This is the authors' accepted manuscript of an article that has been published in its final definitive form by Portland Press, 2019.

For re-use rights please refer to the publisher's terms and conditions.


© 2019 The Author(s). Published by Portland Press Limited on behalf of the Biochemical Society.Mitochondria are ubiquitous organelles present in the cytoplasm of all nucleated eukaryotic cells. These organelles are described as arising from a common ancestor but a comparison of numerous aspects of mitochondria between different organisms provides remarkable examples of divergent evolution. In humans, these organelles are of dual genetic origin, comprising ∼1500 nuclear-encoded proteins and thirteen that are encoded by the mitochondrial genome. Of the various functions that these organelles perform, it is only oxidative phosphorylation, which provides ATP as a source of chemical energy, that is dependent on synthesis of these thirteen mitochondrially encoded proteins. A prerequisite for this process of translation are the mitoribosomes. The recent revolution in cryo-electron microscopy has generated high-resolution mitoribosome structures and has undoubtedly revealed some of the most distinctive molecular aspects of the mitoribosomes from different organisms. However, we still lack a complete understanding of the mechanistic aspects of this process and many of the factors involved in post-transcriptional gene expression in mitochondria. This review reflects on the current knowledge and illustrates some of the striking differences that have been identified between mitochondria from a range of organisms.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Al-Faresi RAZ, Lightowlers RN, Chrzanowska-Lightowlers ZMA

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Biochemical Society Transactions

Year: 2019

Volume: 47

Issue: 5

Pages: 1429-1436

Online publication date: 24/09/2019

Acceptance date: 19/08/2019

Date deposited: 08/01/2020

ISSN (print): 0300-5127

ISSN (electronic): 1470-8752

Publisher: Portland Press


DOI: 10.1042/BST20190265

PubMed id: 31551356


Altmetrics provided by Altmetric


Funder referenceFunder name
203105/Z/16/ZWellcome Trust