Maf1 phenotypes and cell physiology

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19 Scopus citations


As a master regulator of transcription by RNA polymerase (Pol) III, Maf1 represses the synthesis of highly abundant non-coding RNAs as anabolic signals dissipate, as the quality or quantity of nutrients decreases, and under a wide range of cellular and environmental stress conditions. Thus, Maf1 responds to changes in cell physiology to conserve metabolic energy and to help maintain appropriate levels of tRNAs and other essential non-coding RNAs. Studies in different model organisms and cell-based systems show that perturbations of Maf1 can also impact cell physiology and metabolism. These effects are mediated by changes in Pol III transcription and/or by effects of Maf1 on the expression of select Pol II-transcribed genes. Maf1 phenotypes can vary between different systems and are sometimes conflicting as in comparisons between Maf1 KO mice and cultured mammalian cells. These studies are reviewed in an effort to better appreciate the relationship between Maf1 function and cell physiology. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled: SI: Regulation of tRNA synthesis and modification in physiological conditions and disease edited by Dr. Boguta Magdalena.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)330-337
Number of pages8
JournalBiochimica et Biophysica Acta - Gene Regulatory Mechanisms
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2018


  • Maf1
  • RNA polymerase III
  • cancer
  • futile cycle
  • metabolism
  • tumor suppressor

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Structural Biology
  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics


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