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Mitochondrial gene transcription in eukaryotic cells


Claes Gustafsson

Contact Information | List of Publications

Selected recent publications


The laboratory investigates the mechanisms of mammalian mitochondrial transcription. The levels of mitochondrial transcription are regulated in response to the overall respiratory needs of the eukaryotic cell, but the molecular mechanisms behind this regulation are poorly understood. Much of the work is performed using in vitro biochemistry and a reconstituted system for mammalian mtDNA transcription, containing only a promoter containing DNA fragment, and recombinant proteins. One of our areas of interest is the MTERF family of proteins. These proteins regulate mitochondrial gene expression at many different levels, including transcription initiation, transcription termination, and during protein translation. We are also studying DNA sequence dependent transcription termination in mitochondria. In our work, we have seen that a G-quadruplex structure formed in nascent RNA during transcription can stimulate termination. The mechanism is reminiscent of Rho-independent transcription termination in prokaryotes, with the exception that a G-quadruplex structure replaces the hairpin loop formed in bacterial mRNA during transcription of terminator sequences.

We have ongoing collaboration with the Maria Falkenberg group at the University of Gothenburg. This work intends to analyze the link between mitochondrial transcription and DNA replication. We have also a long-standing collaboration with the Nils-Göran Larsson laboratory at the Max Planck Institute for the Biology of Ageing in Köln, which has world-leading expertise in mouse genetics and cell biology.



Sidansvarig: Dan Baeckström|Sidan uppdaterades: 2017-06-28

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