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Genes Dev. 2006 May 1;20(9):1075-80. Epub 2006 Apr 17.

Mammalian Sir2 homolog SIRT7 is an activator of RNA polymerase I transcription.

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  • 1Department of Biology, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, Massachusetts 02139, USA.


We investigated the role of SIRT7, one of the seven members of the mammalian sirtuin family. We show that SIRT7 is a widely expressed nucleolar protein that is associated with active rRNA genes (rDNA), where it interacts with RNA polymerase I (Pol I) as well as with histones. Overexpression of SIRT7 increases Pol I-mediated transcription, whereas knockdown of SIRT7 or inhibition of the catalytic activity results in decreased association of Pol I with rDNA and a reduction of Pol I transcription. Depletion of SIRT7 stops cell proliferation and triggers apoptosis. Our findings suggest that SIRT7 is a positive regulator of Pol I transcription and is required for cell viability in mammals.

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