Post-Transcriptional Control of Mitochondrial Function Elena I. Rugarli1,2 1Institute for Genetics and 2Cologne Excellence Cluster on Cellular Stress Responses in Aging-Associated Diseases (CECAD), University of Cologne, Cologne, Germany
Mitochondria are dynamic and plastic organelles, which flexibly adapt morphology and metabolic function to meet extrinsic challenges and demands. Regulation of mitochondrial biogenesis is essential during development and in adult life to survive stress and pathological insults. The importance of post-transcriptional mechanisms to modulate mitochondrial function has been poorly explored in mammalian organisms, in part owing to the lack of evolutionary conserved molecular players. Recently, we discovered that CLUH is an RNA-binding protein specific for a subset of transcripts encoding mitochondrial proteins involved in amino acid degradation, TCA cycle, ketogenesis, and OXPHOS. CLUH protects target mRNAs from decay and promotes translation, and plays a crucial role in allowing an efficient mitochondrial catabolic response at the foetal-neonatal transition and during starvation in the liver. We will discuss recent findings that link the function of CLUH to signalling pathways sensing energy availability.