Largen: A Molecular Regulator of Mammalian Cell Size Control
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Little is known about how mammalian cells maintain cell size homeostasis. We conducted a novel genetic screen to identify cell-size-controlling genes and isolated Largen, the product of a gene (PRR16) that increased cell size upon overexpression in human cells. In vitro evidence indicated that Largen preferentially stimulates the translation of specific subsets of mRNAs, including those encoding proteins affecting mitochondrial functions. The involvement of Largen in mitochondrial respiration was consistent with the increased mitochondrial mass and greater ATP production in Largen-overexpressing cells. Furthermore, Largen overexpression led to increased cell size in vivo, as revealed by analyses of conditional Largen transgenic mice. Our results establish Largen as an important link between mRNA translation, mitochondrial functions, and the control of mammalian cell size.
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