mtIF3 is locally translated in axons and regulates mitochondrial translation for axonal growth
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- mtIF3 is locally translated in axons and regulates mitochondrial translation for axonal growth
- Lee, Soyeon; Park, Dongkeun; Lim, Chunghun; Kim, Jae-Ick; Min, Kyung-Tai
- Issue Date
- BioMed Central
- BMC BIOLOGY, v.20, pp.12
The establishment and maintenance of functional neural connections relies on appropriate distribution and localization of mitochondria in neurites, as these organelles provide essential energy and metabolites. In particular, mitochondria are transported to axons and support local energy production to maintain energy-demanding neuronal processes including axon branching, growth, and regeneration. Additionally, local protein synthesis is required for structural and functional changes in axons, with nuclear-encoded mitochondrial mRNAs having been found localized in axons. However, it remains unclear whether these mRNAs are locally translated and whether the potential translated mitochondrial proteins are involved in the regulation of mitochondrial functions in axons. Here, we aim to further understand the purpose of such compartmentalization by focusing on the role of mitochondrial initiation factor 3 (mtIF3), whose nuclear-encoded transcripts have been shown to be present in axonal growth cones.
We demonstrate that brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) induces local translation of mtIF3 mRNA in axonal growth cones. Subsequently, mtIF3 protein is translocated into axonal mitochondria and promotes mitochondrial translation as assessed by our newly developed bimolecular fluorescence complementation sensor for the assembly of mitochondrial ribosomes. We further show that BDNF-induced axonal growth requires mtIF3-dependent mitochondrial translation in distal axons.
We describe a previously unknown function of mitochondrial initiation factor 3 (mtIF3) in axonal protein synthesis and development. These findings provide insight into the way neurons adaptively control mitochondrial physiology and axonal development via local mtIF3 translation.
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