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The universally conserved process of protein biosynthesis is crucial for maintaining cellular homoeostasis and in eukaryotes, mitochondrial translation is essential for aerobic energy production. Mitochondrial ribosomes (mitoribosomes) are highly specialized to synthesize 13 core subunits of the oxidative phosphorylation (OXPHOS) complexes. Although the mitochondrial translation machinery traces its origin from a bacterial ancestor, it has acquired substantial differences within this endosymbiotic environment. The cycle of mitoribosome function proceeds through the conserved canonical steps of initiation, elongation, termination and mitoribosome recycling. However, when mitoribosomes operate in the context of limited translation factors or on aberrant mRNAs, they can become stalled and activation of rescue mechanisms is required. This review summarizes recent advances in the understanding of protein biosynthesis in mitochondria, focusing especially on the mechanistic and physiological details of translation termination, and mitoribosome recycling and rescue.


Franziska Nadler, Elena Lavdovskaia, Ricarda Richter-Dennerlein. Maintaining mitochondrial ribosome function: The role of ribosome rescue and recycling factors. RNA biology. 2022;19(1):117-131

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PMID: 34923906

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