Mitochondrial Localization of Telomeric Protein TIN2 Links Telomere Regulation to Metabolic Control

Liuh Yow Chen, Yi Zhang, Qinfen Zhang, Hongzhi Li, Zhenhua Luo, Hezhi Fang, Sok Ho Kim, Li Qin, Patricia Yotnda, Jianming Xu, Benjamin P. Tu, Yidong Bai, Zhou Songyang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

76 Scopus citations


Both mitochondria, which are metabolic powerhouses, and telomeres, which help maintain genomic stability, have been implicated in cancer and aging. However, the signaling events that connect these two cellular structures remain poorly understood. Here, we report that the canonical telomeric protein TIN2 is also a regulator of metabolism. TIN2 is recruited to telomeres and associates with multiple telomere regulators including TPP1. TPP1 interacts with TIN2 N terminus, which contains overlapping mitochondrial and telomeric targeting sequences, and controls TIN2 localization. We have found that TIN2 is posttranslationally processed in mitochondria and regulates mitochondrial oxidative phosphorylation. Reducing TIN2 expression by RNAi knockdown inhibited glycolysis and reactive oxygen species (ROS) production and enhanced ATP levels and oxygen consumption in cancer cells. These results suggest a link between telomeric proteins and metabolic control, providing an additional mechanism by which telomeric proteins regulate cancer and aging.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)839-850
Number of pages12
JournalMolecular Cell
Issue number6
StatePublished - Sep 28 2012

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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