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2007 | 54 | 1 | 55-61
Article title

Prediction of the structure of the common perimitochondrial localization signal of nuclear transcripts in yeast

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Many nuclear genes encoding mitochondrial proteins require specific localization of their mRNAs to the vicinity of mitochondria for proper expression. Studies in Saccharomyces cerevisiae have shown that the cis-acting signal responsible for subcellular localization of mRNAs is localized in the 3' UTR of the transcript. In this paper we present an in silico approach for prediction of a common perimitochondrial localization signal of nuclear transcripts encoding mitochondrial proteins. We computed a consensus structure for this signal by comparison of 3' UTR models for about 3000 yeast transcripts with known localization. Our studies show a short stem-loop structure which appears in most mRNAs localized to the vicinity of mitochondria. The degree of similarity of a given 3' UTR to our consensus structure strongly correlates with experimentally determined perimitochondrial localization of the mRNA, therefore we believe that the structure we predicted acts as a subcellular localization signal. Since our algorithm operates on structures, it seems to be more reliable than sequence-based algorithms. The good predictive value of our model is supported by statistical analysis.
Physical description
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