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RNA. 2002 Feb;8(2):150-65.

Saccharomyces cerevisiae nucleolar protein Nop7p is necessary for biogenesis of 60S ribosomal subunits.

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Department of Biological Sciences, Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15213, USA.


To identify new gene products that participate in ribosome biogenesis, we carried out a screen for mutations that result in lethality in combination with mutations in DRS1, a Saccharomyces cerevisiae nucleolar DEAD-box protein required for synthesis of 60S ribosomal subunits. We identified the gene NOP7that encodes an essential protein. The temperature-sensitive nop7-1 mutation or metabolic depletion of Nop7p results in a deficiency of 60S ribosomal subunits and accumulation of halfmer polyribosomes. Analysis of pre-rRNA processing indicates that nop7 mutants exhibit a delay in processing of 27S pre-rRNA to mature 25S rRNA and decreased accumulation of 25S rRNA. Thus Nop7p, like Drs1p, is required for essential steps leading to synthesis of 60S ribosomal subunits. In addition, inactivation or depletion of Nop7p also affects processing at the A0, A1, and A2 sites, which may result from the association of Nop7p with 35S pre-rRNA in 90S pre-rRNPs. Nop7p is localized primarily in the nucleolus, where most steps in ribosome assembly occur. Nop7p is homologous to the zebrafish pescadillo protein necessary for embryonic development. The Nop7 protein contains the BRCT motif, a protein-protein interaction domain through which, for example, the human BRCA1 protein interacts with RNA helicase A.

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