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Chimeric mitochondrial peptides from contiguous regular and swinger RNA

Seligmann, Hervé
Computational and Structural Biotechnology Journal 2016 v.14 pp. 283-297
DNA, RNA, biotechnology, genes, humans, mass spectrometry, mitochondria, mitochondrial genome, nucleotides, peptides, polymerization, proteins
Previous mass spectrometry analyses described human mitochondrial peptides entirely translated from swinger RNAs, RNAs where polymerization systematically exchanged nucleotides. Exchanges follow one among 23 bijective transformation rules, nine symmetric exchanges (X↔Y, e.g. A↔C) and fourteen asymmetric exchanges (X→Y→Z→X, e.g. A→C→G→A), multiplying by 24 DNA's protein coding potential. Abrupt switches from regular to swinger polymerization produce chimeric RNAs. Here, human mitochondrial proteomic analyses assuming abrupt switches between regular and swinger transcriptions, detect chimeric peptides, encoded by part regular, part swinger RNA. Contiguous regular- and swinger-encoded residues within single peptides are stronger evidence for translation of swinger RNA than previously detected, entirely swinger-encoded peptides: regular parts are positive controls matched with contiguous swinger parts, increasing confidence in results. Chimeric peptides are 200× rarer than swinger peptides (3/100,000 versus 6/1000). Among 186 peptides with >8 residues for each regular and swinger parts, regular parts of eleven chimeric peptides correspond to six among the thirteen recognized, mitochondrial protein-coding genes. Chimeric peptides matching partly regular proteins are rarer and less expressed than chimeric peptides matching non-coding sequences, suggesting targeted degradation of misfolded proteins. Present results strengthen hypotheses that the short mitogenome encodes far more proteins than hitherto assumed. Entirely swinger-encoded proteins could exist.