Binds to the mitochondrial light strand promoter and functions in mitochondrial transcription regulation. Required for accurate and efficient promoter recognition by the mitochondrial RNA polymerase. Promotes transcription initiation from the HSP1 and the light strand promoter by binding immediately upstream of transcriptional start sites. Is able to unwind DNA. Bends the mitochondrial light strand promoter DNA into a U-turn shape via its HMG boxes. Required for maintenance of normal levels of mitochondrial DNA. May play a role in organizing and compacting mitochondrial DNA.