Functional domains of chicken mitochondrial transcription factor A for the maintenance of mitochondrial DNA copy number in lymphoma cell line DT40

Yuichi Matsushima, Kiyoshi Matsumura, Shoji Ishii, Hidetoshi Inagaki, Tomohiro Suzuki, Yoichi Matsuda, Konrad Beck, Yasuo Kitagawa

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41 Citations (Scopus)


Nuclear and mitochondrial (mt) forms of chicken mt transcription factor A (c-TFAM) generated by alternative splicing of a gene (c-tfam) were cloned. c-tfam mapped at 6q1.1-q1.2 has similar exon/intron organization as mouse tfam except that the first exons encoding the nuclear and the mt form-specific sequences were positioned oppositely. When cDNA encoding the nuclear form was transiently expressed in chicken lymphoma DT40 cells after tagging at the C terminus with c-Myc, the product was localized into nucleus, whereas the only endogenous mt form of DT40 cells was immunostained exclusively within mitochondria. c-TFAM is most similar to Xenopus (xl-) TFAM in having extended C-terminal regions in addition to two high mobility group (HMG) boxes, a linker region between them, and a C-terminal tail, also found in human and mouse TFAM. Similarities between c- and xl-TFAM are higher in linker and C-terminal regions than in HMG boxes. Disruption of both tfam alleles in DT40 cells prevented proliferation. The tfam+/tfam- cells showed a 50 and 40-60% reduction of mtDNA and its transcripts, respectively. Expression of exogenous wild type c-tfam cDNA in the tfam+/tfam- cells increased mtDNA up to 4-fold in a dose-dependent manner, whereas its transcripts increased only marginally. A deletion mutant lacking the first HMG box lost this activity, whereas only marginal reduction of the activity was observed in a deletion mutant at the second HMG box. Despite the essential role of the C-terminal tail in mtDNA transcription demonstrated in vitro, deletion of c-TFAM at this region reduced the activity of maintenance of the mtDNA level only by 50%. A series of deletion mutant at the tail region suggested stimulatory and suppressive sequences in this region for the maintenance of mtDNA level.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)31149-31158
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Issue number33
Publication statusPublished - Aug 15 2003
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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