Mitochondria are energy producing organelles of the eukaryotic cell, involved in the synthesis of key metabolites, calcium homeostasis and apoptosis. Protein biosynthesis in these organelles is a relic of its endosymbiotic origin. While mitochondrial translational factors have homologues among prokaryotes, they possess a number of unique traits. Remarkably as many as four mammalian mitochondrial proteins possess a clear similarity with translation termination factors. The review focuses on the ICT1, which combines several functions. It is a non-canonical termination factor for protein biosynthesis, a rescue factor for stalled mitochondrial ribosomes, a structural protein and a regulator of proliferation, cell cycle, and apoptosis. Such a diversity of roles demonstrates the high functionality of mitochondrial translation associated proteins and their relationship with numerous processes occurring in a living cell.
- cell cycle
- ribosome, signaling