Nuclear control of respiratory chain expression in mammalian cells

J Bioenerg Biomembr. 1997 Apr;29(2):109-19. doi: 10.1023/a:1022681828846.


The majority of gene products for mitochondrial respiratory function are encoded in the nuclear genome. These include most of the respiratory subunits and all of the proteins that regulate the mitochondrial genetic system. One approach to understanding nucleo-mitochondrial interactions in mammalian cells is to identify the nuclear transcription factors that are common to the expression of these gene products. This has led to the purification and molecular cloning of nuclear respiratory factors, NRF-1 and NRF-2. The DNA binding and transcriptional specificities of these proteins have implicated them in the expression of many respiratory subunits along with key components of the mitochondrial transcription, replication, and heme biosynthetic machinery. In addition, tissue-specific transcription factors have been linked to the coordinate synthesis of contractile proteins and muscle-specific respiratory subunits whereas other more ubiquitous factors may have a dual function in nuclear and mitochondrial gene activation. These findings provide a framework for further investigations of the nuclear genetic mechanisms that integrate the expression of the respiratory apparatus with that of other cellular systems during growth and development.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Nucleus / genetics*
  • Cell Nucleus / physiology
  • DNA-Binding Proteins / physiology
  • Electron Transport / genetics*
  • Electron Transport / physiology
  • GA-Binding Protein Transcription Factor
  • Gene Expression Regulation
  • Humans
  • Mammals
  • Mitochondria / genetics*
  • Mitochondria / physiology
  • Mitochondrial Proteins*
  • NF-E2-Related Factor 1
  • Nuclear Proteins*
  • Nuclear Respiratory Factor 1
  • Nuclear Respiratory Factors
  • Trans-Activators / physiology
  • Transcription Factors / physiology
  • Transcriptional Activation


  • DNA-Binding Proteins
  • GA-Binding Protein Transcription Factor
  • Mitochondrial Proteins
  • NF-E2-Related Factor 1
  • NRF1 protein, human
  • Nuclear Proteins
  • Nuclear Respiratory Factor 1
  • Nuclear Respiratory Factors
  • TFAM protein, human
  • Trans-Activators
  • Transcription Factors
  • mitochondrial transcription factor A