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Point mutations and deletions of mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) accumulate in a variety of tissues during ageing in humans, monkeys and rodents. These mutations are unevenly distributed and can accumulate clonally in certain cells, causing a mosaic pattern of respiratory chain deficiency in tissues such as heart, skeletal muscle and brain. In terms of the ageing(More)
Characterization of the basic transcription machinery of mammalian mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) is of fundamental biological interest and may also lead to therapeutic interventions for human diseases associated with mitochondrial dysfunction. Here we report that mitochondrial transcription factors B1 (TFB1M) and B2 (TFB2M) are necessary for basal transcription(More)
Mammalian mtDNA is packaged in DNA-protein complexes denoted mitochondrial nucleoids. The organization of the nucleoid is a very fundamental question in mitochondrial biology and will determine tissue segregation and transmission of mtDNA. We have used a combination of stimulated emission depletion microscopy, enabling a resolution well below the(More)
Mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) copy number regulation is altered in several human mtDNA-mutation diseases and it is also important in a variety of normal physiological processes. Mitochondrial transcription factor A (TFAM) is essential for human mtDNA transcription and we demonstrate here that it is also a key regulator of mtDNA copy number. We initially(More)
The mitochondrion was originally a free-living prokaryotic organism, which explains the presence of a compact mammalian mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) in contemporary mammalian cells. The genome encodes for key subunits of the electron transport chain and RNA components needed for mitochondrial translation. Nuclear genes encode the enzyme systems responsible for(More)
Many muscular and neurological disorders are associated with mitochondrial dysfunction and are often accompanied by changes in mitochondrial morphology. Mutations in the gene encoding OPA1, a protein required for fusion of mitochondria, are associated with hereditary autosomal dominant optic atrophy type I. Here we show that mitochondrial fragmentation(More)
Initiation of transcription in mammalian mitochondria depends on three proteins: mitochondrial RNA polymerase (POLRMT), mitochondrial transcription factor A (TFAM) and mitochondrial transcription factor B2 (TFB2M). We show here that the recombinant mouse and human transcription machineries are unable to initiate transcription in vitro from the heterologous(More)
We have generated an animal model for mitochondrial myopathy by disrupting the gene for mitochondrial transcription factor A (Tfam) in skeletal muscle of the mouse. The knockout animals developed a myopathy with ragged-red muscle fibers, accumulation of abnormally appearing mitochondria, and progressively deteriorating respiratory chain function in skeletal(More)
The human mitochondrial genome involves over 1,000 genes, dispersed across the maternally inherited mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) and the biparentally inherited nuclear DNA (nDNA). The mtDNA encodes 13 core proteins that determine the efficiency of the mitochondrial energy-generating system, oxidative phosphorylation (OXPHOS), plus the RNA genes for their(More)
There is an intense debate concerning whether selection or demographics has been most important in shaping the sequence variation observed in modern human mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA). Purifying selection is thought to be important in shaping mtDNA sequence evolution, but the strength of this selection has been debated, mainly due to the threshold effect of(More)