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LINC00116 Codes For A Mitochondrial Peptide Linking Respiration And Lipid Metabolism

Anastasia Chugunova, Elizaveta Loseva, Pavel Mazin, Aleksandra Mitina, Tsimafei Navalayeu, Dmitry Bilan, Polina Vishnyakova, Maria Marey, Anna Golovina, Marina Serebryakova, Philipp Pletnev, Maria Rubtsova, Waltraud Mair, Anna Vanyushkina, Philipp Khaitovich, Vsevolod Belousov, Mikhail Vysokikh, Petr Sergiev, Olga Dontsova

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Genes coding for small peptides have been frequently misannotated as long noncoding RNA (lncRNA) genes. Here we have demonstrated that one such transcript is translated into a 56-amino-acid-long peptide conserved in chordates, corroborating the work published while this manuscript was under review. The Mtln peptide could be detected in mitochondria of mouse cell lines and tissues. In line with its mitochondrial localization, lack of the Mtln decreases the activity of mitochondrial respiratory chain complex I. Unlike the integral components and assembly factors of NADH:ubiquinone oxidoreductase, Mtln does not alter its enzymatic activity directly. Interaction of Mtln with NADH-dependent cytochrome b5 reductase stimulates complex I functioning most likely by providing a favorable lipid composition of the membrane. Study of Mtln illuminates the importance of small peptides, whose genes might frequently be misannotated as lncRNAs, for the control of vitally important cellular processes.