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J Cell Biol. 2000 May 1;149(3):575-90.

Association of yeast RNA polymerase I with a nucleolar substructure active in rRNA synthesis and processing.

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  • 1Biochemie-Zentrum Heidelberg, D-69120 Heidelberg, Germany.


A novel ribonucleoprotein complex enriched in nucleolar proteins was purified from yeast extracts and constituents were identified by mass spectrometry. When isolated from rapidly growing cells, the assembly contained ribonucleic acid (RNA) polymerase (pol) I, and some of its transcription factors like TATA-binding protein (TBP), Rrn3p, Rrn5p, Rrn7p, and Reb1p along with rRNA processing factors, like Nop1p, Cbf5p, Nhp2p, and Rrp5p. The small nucleolar RNAs (snoRNAs) U3, U14, and MRP were also found to be associated with the complex, which supports accurate transcription, termination, and pseudouridylation of rRNA. Formation of the complex did not depend on pol I, and the complex could efficiently recruit exogenous pol I into active ribosomal DNA (rDNA) transcription units. Visualization of the complex by electron microscopy and immunogold labeling revealed a characteristic cluster-forming network of nonuniform size containing nucleolar proteins like Nop1p and Fpr3p and attached pol I. Our results support the idea that a functional nucleolar subdomain formed independently of the state of rDNA transcription may serve as a scaffold for coordinated rRNA synthesis and processing.

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