Send to:

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Mol Cell Biol. 1993 Apr;13(4):2441-55.

Structural alterations of the nucleolus in mutants of Saccharomyces cerevisiae defective in RNA polymerase I.

Author information

  • 1Department of Biological Chemistry, University of California, Irvine 92717-1700.


We have previously constructed mutants of Saccharomyces cerevisiae in which the gene for the second-largest subunit of RNA polymerase I (Pol I) is deleted. In these mutants, rRNA is synthesized by RNA polymerase II from a hybrid gene consisting of the 35S rRNA coding region fused to the GAL7 promoter on a plasmid. These strains thus grow in galactose but not glucose media. By immunofluorescence microscopy using antibodies against the known nucleolar proteins SSB1 and fibrillarin, we found that the intact crescent-shaped nucleolar structure is absent in these mutants; instead, several granules (called mininucleolar bodies [MNBs]) that stained with these antibodies were seen in the nucleus. Conversion of the intact nucleolar structure to MNBs was also observed in Pol I temperature-sensitive mutants at nonpermissive temperatures. These MNBs may structurally resemble prenucleolar bodies observed in higher eukaryotic cells and may represent a constituent of the normal nucleolus. Furthermore, cells under certain conditions that inhibit rRNA synthesis did not cause conversion of the nucleolus to MNBs. Thus, the role of Pol I in the maintenance of the intact nucleolar structure might include a role as a structural element in addition to (or instead of) a functional role to produce rRNA transcripts. Our study also shows that the intact nucleolar structure is not absolutely required for rRNA processing, ribosome assembly, or cell growth and that MNBs are possibly functional in rRNA processing in the Pol I deletion mutants.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for HighWire Icon for PubMed Central
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk