We studied the transcriptional regulation of the human mitochondrial translation initiation factor 2 (IF2mt) gene. The minimal promoter region for the human IF2mt gene contains binding sites for Nuclear Respiratory Factor 2 (NRF-2), which is often involved in the transcription of mitochondrial-related genes. Electrophoresis mobility shift assay (EMSA) analyses indicated that NRF-2α/β binds to the IF2mt promoter. Reporter assays, where HEK293T cells were co-transfected with an NRF-2α/β-expressing vector and/or an IF2mt promoter reporter vector, revealed that NRF-2 trans-activates the IF2mt promoter. NRF-2 sites were also found in the promoters of several other mitochondrial translation factors, which suggests NRF-2 may play a key role in the regulation of mitochondrial protein synthesis.
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