Eukaryotic cells are composed of organelles, and each organelle contains proteins that play a role in its function. Therefore, the localization of a protein, especially to organelles, is a clue to infer the function of that protein. In this study, we attempted to identify novel mitochondrially localized proteins in the budding yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae using a fluorescent protein (GFPdeg) that is rapidly degraded in the cytoplasm. Of the budding yeast proteins predicted to localize to mitochondria by the prediction tool Deeploc-1.0, those with known mitochondrial localization or functional relevance were eliminated, and 95 proteins of unknown function were selected as candidates for analysis. By forced expression of GFPdeg fusion proteins with these proteins and observation of their localization, we identified 35 uncharacterized proteins potentially localized to mitochondria (UPMs) including 8 previously identified proteins that localize to mitochondria. Most of these had no N-terminal mitochondrial localization signal and were evolutionarily young “emerging genes” that exist only in S. cerevisiae. Some of these genes were found to be upregulated during the postdiauxic shift phase when mitochondria are being developed, suggesting that they are actually involved in some mitochondrial function.
- emerging ORFs
- S. cerevisiae
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology