Human SUV3 helicase in the cell nucleus regulates the growth rate of HeLa cells.

  • Piotr P. Stepien University of Warsaw
  • Maciej Szewczyk University of Warsaw
  • Natalia Fedoryszak-Kuśka University of Warsaw
  • Katarzyna Tkaczuk University of Warsaw
  • Jerzy Dobrucki Jagiellonian University
  • Agnieszka Waligórska Jagiellonian University
Keywords: SUV3 helicase, dual localization, cell nucleus, cell cycle


The human SUV3 helicase (hSuv3p, hSUV3, SUPV3L1) is a DNA/RNA unwinding enzyme belonging to the class of DexH-box helicases. It localizes predominantly in mitochondria, where it forms an RNA-degrading complex called mitochondrial degradosome with exonuclease PNP (polynucleotide phosphorylase). Association of this complex with polyA polymerase modulates mitochondrial polyA tails. Silencing of the SUV3 gene was shown to inhibit the cell cycle and to induce apoptosis in human cell lines. However, since small amounts of the SUV3 helicase were found in cell nuclei, it was not clear whether the observed phenotypes of SUV3 depletion were of mitochondrial or nuclear origin. In order to answer this question we designed gene constructs able to inhibit SUV3 nuclear activity exclusively. The results indicate that the observed growth rate impairment upon SUV3 depletion is due to its nuclear function(s). Unexpectedly, overexpression of the nuclear-targeted wild-type copies of SUV3 gene resulted in higher growth rate. Our results indicate that the nucleus-associated human SUV3 protein is an important factor in regulation of the cell cycle.

Author Biographies

Piotr P. Stepien, University of Warsaw
Faculty of Biology, Department of Genetics ad Biotechnology
Maciej Szewczyk, University of Warsaw
Faculty of Biology, Department of Genetics ad Biotechnology
Natalia Fedoryszak-Kuśka, University of Warsaw
Centre of New Technologies
Katarzyna Tkaczuk, University of Warsaw
Faculty of Biology, Department of Genetics ad Biotechnology


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