Transcriptional control of mitochondrial biogenesis and function

Annu Rev Physiol. 2009;71:177-203. doi: 10.1146/annurev.physiol.010908.163119.


Mitochondria play central roles in energy homeostasis, metabolism, signaling, and apoptosis. Accordingly, the abundance, morphology, and functional properties of mitochondria are finely tuned to meet cell-specific energetic, metabolic, and signaling demands. This tuning is largely achieved at the level of transcriptional regulation. A highly interconnected network of transcription factors regulates a broad set of nuclear genes encoding mitochondrial proteins, including those that control replication and transcription of the mitochondrial genome. The same transcriptional network senses cues relaying cellular energy status, nutrient availability, and the physiological state of the organism and enables short- and long-term adaptive responses, resulting in adjustments to mitochondrial function and mitochondrial biogenesis. Mitochondrial dysfunction is associated with many human diseases. Characterization of the transcriptional mechanisms that regulate mitochondrial biogenesis and function can offer insights into possible therapeutic interventions aimed at modulating mitochondrial function.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Energy Metabolism / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Mitochondria / physiology*
  • Signal Transduction / physiology
  • Transcription Factors / physiology
  • Transcription, Genetic / physiology*


  • Transcription Factors