Mitochondrial nucleoid and transcription factor A

Tomotake Kanki, Hiroshi Nakayama, Narie Sasaki, Koji Takio, Tanfis Istiaq Alam, Naotaka Hamasaki, Dongchon Kang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

67 Citations (Scopus)


Nuclear DNA is tightly packed into nucleosomal structure. In contrast, human mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) had long been believed to be rather naked because mitochondria lack histone. Mitochondrial transcription factor A (TFAM), a member of a high mobility group (HMG) protein family and a first-identified mitochondrial transcription factor, is essential for maintenance of mitochondrial DNA. Abf2, a yeast counterpart of human TFAM, is abundant enough to cover the whole region of mtDNA and to play a histone-like role in mitochondria. Human TFAM is indeed as abundant as Abf2, suggesting that TFAM also has a histone-like architectural role for maintenance of mtDNA. When human mitochondria are solubilized with non-ionic detergent Nonidet-P40 and then separated into soluble and particulate fractions, most TFAM is recovered from the particulate fraction together with mtDNA, suggesting that human mtDNA forms a nucleoid structure. TFAM is tightly associated with mtDNA as a main component of the nucleoid.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)61-68
Number of pages8
JournalAnnals of the New York Academy of Sciences
Publication statusPublished - 2004

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Neuroscience
  • General Biochemistry,Genetics and Molecular Biology
  • History and Philosophy of Science


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