Nucleic acids research

Human mitochondrial transcription factors TFAM and TFB2M work synergistically in promoter melting during transcription initiation.

PMID 27903899


Human mitochondrial DNA is transcribed by POLRMT with the help of two initiation factors, TFAM and TFB2M. The current model postulates that the role of TFAM is to recruit POLRMT and TFB2M to melt the promoter. However, we show that TFAM has 'post-recruitment' roles in promoter melting and RNA synthesis, which were revealed by studying the pre-initiation steps of promoter binding, bending and melting, and abortive RNA synthesis. Our 2-aminopurine mapping studies show that the LSP (Light Strand Promoter) is melted from -4 to +1 in the open complex with all three proteins and from -4 to +3 with addition of ATP. Our equilibrium binding studies show that POLRMT forms stable complexes with TFB2M or TFAM on LSP with low-nanomolar K