Browsing by Subject "HUMAN MTDNA"

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  • Shi, Yonghong; Posse, Viktor; Zhu, Xuefeng; Hyvärinen, Anne K.; Jacobs, Howard T.; Falkenberg, Maria; Gustafsson, Claes M. (2016)
    During replication of nuclear ribosomal DNA (rDNA), clashes with the transcription apparatus can cause replication fork collapse and genomic instability. To avoid this problem, a replication fork barrier protein is situated downstream of rDNA, there preventing replication in the direction opposite rDNA transcription. A potential candidate for a similar function in mitochondria is the mitochondrial transcription termination factor 1 (MTERF1, also denoted mTERF), which binds to a sequence just downstream of the ribosomal transcription unit. Previous studies have shown that MTERF1 prevents antisense transcription over the ribosomal RNA genes, a process which we here show to be independent of the transcription elongation factor TEFM. Importantly, we now demonstrate that MTERF1 arrests mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) replication with distinct polarity. The effect is explained by the ability of MTERF1 to act as a directional contrahelicase, blocking mtDNA unwinding by the mitochondrial helicase TWINKLE. This conclusion is also supported by in vivo evidence that MTERF1 stimulates TWINKLE pausing. We conclude that MTERF1 can direct polar replication fork arrest in mammalian mitochondria.
  • Batini, Chiara; Hallast, Pille; Vagene, Ashild J.; Zadik, Daniel; Eriksen, Heidi A.; Pamjav, Horolma; Sajantila, Antti; Wetton, Jon H.; Jobling, Mark A. (2017)
    Interpretations of genetic data concerning the prehistory of Europe have long been a subject of great debate, but increasing amounts of ancient and modern DNA data are now providing new and more informative evidence. Y-chromosome resequencing studies in Europe have highlighted the prevalence of recent expansions of male lineages, and focused interest on the Bronze Age as a period of cultural and demographic change. These findings contrast with phylogeographic studies based on mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA), which have been interpreted as supporting expansions from glacial refugia. Here we have undertaken a population-based resequencing of complete mitochondrial genomes in Europe and the Middle East, in 340 samples from 17 populations for which Y-chromosome sequence data are also available. Demographic reconstructions show no signal of Bronze Age expansion, but evidence of Paleolithic expansions in all populations except the Saami, and with an absence of detectable geographical pattern. In agreement with previous inference from modern and ancient DNA data, the unbiased comparison between the mtDNA and Y-chromosome population datasets emphasizes the sex-biased nature of recent demographic transitions in Europe.
  • Neuvonen, Anu M.; Putkonen, Mikko Tapani; Oversti, Sanni; Sundell, Tarja; Onkamo, Päivi; Sajantila, Antti; Palo, Jukka U. (2015)
    It has previously been demonstrated that the advance of the Neolithic Revolution from the Near East through Europe was decelerated in the northernmost confines of the continent, possibly as a result of space and resource competition with lingering Mesolithic populations. Finland was among the last domains to adopt a farming lifestyle, and is characterized by substructuring in the form of a distinct genetic border dividing the northeastern and southwestern regions of the country. To explore the origins of this divergence, the geographical patterns of mitochondrial and Y-chromosomal haplogroups of Neolithic and Mesolithic ancestry were assessed in Finnish populations. The distribution of these uniparental markers revealed a northeastern bias for hunter-gatherer haplogroups, while haplogroups associated with the farming lifestyle clustered in the southwest. In addition, a correlation could be observed between more ancient mitochondrial haplogroup age and eastern concentration. These results coupled with prior archeological evidence suggest the genetic northeast/southwest division observed in contemporary Finland represents an ancient vestigial border between Mesolithic and Neolithic populations undetectable in most other regions of Europe.