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Exonuclease 3'-5' domain-containing protein 2 (EC (3'-5' exoribonuclease EXD2) (EC 3.1.13.-) (Exonuclease 3'-5' domain-like-containing protein 2) [C14orf114] [EXDL2]


EXD2 governs germ stem cell homeostasis and lifespan by promoting mitoribosome integrity and translation.

Mitochondria are subcellular organelles that are critical for meeting the bioenergetic and biosynthetic needs of the cell. Mitochondrial function relies on genes and RNA species encoded both in the nucleus and mitochondria, and on their coordinated translation, import and respiratory complex assembly. Here, we characterize EXD2 (exonuclease 3'-5' domain-containing 2), a nuclear-encoded gene, and show that it is targeted to the mitochondria and prevents the aberrant association of messenger RNAs with the mitochondrial ribosome. Loss of EXD2 results in defective mitochondrial translation, impaired respiration, reduced ATP production, increased reactive oxygen species and widespread metabolic abnormalities. Depletion of the Drosophila melanogaster EXD2 orthologue (CG6744) causes developmental delays and premature female germline stem cell attrition, reduced fecundity and a dramatic extension of lifespan that is reversed with an antioxidant diet. Our results define a conserved role for EXD2 in mitochondrial translation that influences development and ageing.

MeSH Terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Nucleus
  • Drosophila Proteins
  • Drosophila melanogaster
  • Exonucleases
  • Germ Cells
  • Homeostasis
  • Longevity
  • Mitochondria
  • Mitochondrial Proteins
  • Mitochondrial Ribosomes
  • Protein Biosynthesis
  • RNA, Messenger
  • Reactive Oxygen Species
  • Stem Cells