ABSTRACT: Serum plays an important role in the regulation of cell cycle and cell growth. To identify novel serum-inhibitory factors and study their roles in cell cycle regulation, we performed mRNA differential display analysis of U251 cells in the presence or absence of serum and cloned a novel gene encoding the human mitochondrial transcription termination factor-like protein (mTERFL). The full-length mTERFL cDNA has been isolated and the genomic structure determined. The mTERFL gene consists of three exons and encodes 385 amino acids with 52% sequence similarity to the human mitochondrial transcription termination factor (mTERF). However, mTERFL and mTERF have an opposite expression pattern in response to serum. The expression of mTERFL is dramatically inhibited by the addition of serum in serum-starved cells while the mTERF is rather induced. Northern blot analysis detected three mTERFL transcripts of 1.7, 3.2, and 3.5kb. Besides the 3.2kb transcript that is unique to skeletal muscle, other two transcripts express predominant in heart, liver, pancreas, and skeletal muscle. Expression of the GFP-mTERFL fusion protein in HeLa cells localized it to the mitochondria. Furthermore, ectopic expression of mTERFL suppresses cell growth and arrests cells in the G1 stage demonstrated by MTT and flow cytometry analysis. Collectively, our data suggest that mTERFL is a novel mTERF family member and a serum-inhibitory factor probably participating in the regulation of cell growth through the modulation of mitochondrial transcription.
Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications 01/2006; 337(4):1112-8. · 2.48 Impact Factor