Mitochondria translate the RNAs for 13 core polypeptides of respiratory chain and ATP synthase complexes that are essential for the assembly and function of these complexes. This process occurs in close proximity to the mitochondrial inner membrane. However, the mechanisms and molecular machinery involved in mitochondrial translation are not fully understood, and defects in this process can result in severe diseases. Stomatin-like protein (SLP)-2 is a mainly mitochondrial protein that forms cardiolipin- and prohibitin-enriched microdomains in the mitochondrial inner membrane that are important for the formation of respiratory supercomplexes and their function. Given this regulatory role of SLP-2 in processes closely associated with the mitochondrial inner membrane, we hypothesized that the function of SLP-2 would have an impact on mitochondrial translation. 35S-Methionine/cysteine pulse labeling of resting or activated T cells from T cell-specific Slp-2 knockout mice showed a significant impairment in the production of several mitochondrial DNA-encoded polypeptides following T cell activation, including Cytb, COXI, COXII, COXIII, and ATP6. Measurement of mitochondrial DNA stability and mitochondrial transcription revealed that this impairment was at the post-transcriptional level. Examination of mitochondrial ribosome assembly showed that SLP-2 migrated in sucrose-density gradients similarly to the large ribosomal subunit but that its deletion at the genetic level did not affect mitochondrial ribosome assembly. Functionally, the impairment in mitochondrial translation correlated with decreased interleukin-2 production in activated T cells. Altogether, these data show that SLP-2 acts as a general regulator of mitochondrial translation.
Mitsopoulos, P., Lapohos, O., Weraarpachai, W., Antonicka, H., Chang, Y. H., & Madrenas, J. (2017). Stomatin-like protein 2 deficiency results in impaired mitochondrial translation. PLoS ONE, 12(6). https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0179967