We report the identification and characterization of a novel human mitochondrial RNA species approximately 0.47 kb long that is transcribed from the mtDNA L-strand and is derived from the D-loop. Its expression increases when human cells become immortal, a key event in tumorigenesis. The RNA is therefore designated IDL (Immortalization-associated D-Loop). Sequence and hybrid cell analyses suggest that the increased level of IDL RNA in immortal cells is due to a recessive change, possibly in the activity of a trans-acting factor that controls IDL RNA expression.
Copyright 2000 Academic Press.