The most unique feature in the replication of mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) is that most of the newly synthesized heavy strands (H-strands) terminate prematurely, resulting in the formation of displacement loop (D-loop) strands. Only the H-strand which proceeds past the termination site is a true nascent H-strand leading to the overall replication on a circular mtDNA molecule. The physiological significance of the D-loop formation has long been unclear. To examine the role of premature termination in mtDNA replication, we therefore developed a method for selectively measuring both the total amount of nascent H-strands and the amount of true nascent H-strands using ligation-mediated polymerase chain reaction, which, for the first time, enabled us to estimate the frequency of premature termination. The stimulation of cell proliferation with interleukin 2 and phytohemagglutinin in human peripheral T lymphocytes caused an increase in the net replication rate of mtDNA. In stimulated cells, in comparison to resting ones, the amount of true nascent H-strands increased approx. 2.6-fold while the total amount of nascent H-strands remained unchanged, indicating that premature termination decreased while the initiation of replication remained the same. Our findings thus demonstrate the first clear example that premature termination plays a primary role in the up-regulation of the net rate of mtDNA replication in human cells. Copyright (C) 1999 Elsevier Science B.V.
|Number of pages||9|
|Journal||Biochimica et Biophysica Acta - Gene Structure and Expression|
|Publication status||Published - Jul 7 1999|
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Structural Biology