Mitochondrial transcription factor A and its downstream targets are up-regulated in a rat hepatoma

Xiaocheng Dong, Kalpana Ghoshal, Sarmila Majumder, Satya P. Yadav, Samson T. Jacob

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

48 Scopus citations


Mitochondrial transcription factor A is a key regulator involved in mitochondrial DNA transcription and replication. In a poorly differentiated rat hepatoma, Morris hepatoma 3924A, the mRNA and protein levels of this factor were elevated about 10- and 11-fold, respectively, relative to the host liver. The mRNA levels for the hepatoma cytochrome c oxidase I, II, and NADH dehydrogenase 5, 6, the downstream targets of Tfam, were augmented 10-, 8-, 5-, and 3-fold, respectively. Interestingly, Tfam was also found in the hepatoma nucleus. The mRNA levels for nuclear respiratory factor 1 and 2 (NRF-1 and -2), the proteins that are known to interact with specific regulatory elements on human TFAM promoter, were 5- and 3-fold higher, respectively, in the hepatoma relative to the host liver. Unlike the human promoter, the rat Tfam promoter did not form a specific complex with the NRF-1 in the liver or hepatoma nuclear extracts, which is consistent with the absence of an NRF-1 consensus sequence in the proximal rat promoter. A single specific complex formed between the rat promoter and the NRF-2 protein was comparable in the two extracts. The DNA binding activity of Sp1 in the hepatoma nuclear extract was 4-fold greater than that in the liver extract. In vivo genomic footprinting showed occupancy of NRF-2 and Sp1 consensus sites on the promoter of rat Tfam gene. Tfam was also up-regulated in other hepatoma cells. Together, these results show up-regulation of Tfam in some tumors, particularly the liver tumors. Further, the relatively high level of Sp1 binding to the promoter in the hepatoma could play a major role in the up-regulation of Tfam in these tumor cells.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)43309-43318
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Issue number45
StatePublished - Nov 8 2002
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology

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