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EMBO J. 2005 Feb 9;24(3):533-42. Epub 2005 Feb 3.

Central role of Ifh1p-Fhl1p interaction in the synthesis of yeast ribosomal proteins.

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Department of Cell Biology, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Bronx, NY 10461, USA.


The 138 genes encoding the 79 ribosomal proteins (RPs) of Saccharomyces cerevisiae form the tightest cluster of coordinately regulated genes in nearly all transcriptome experiments. The basis for this observation remains unknown. We now provide evidence that two factors, Fhl1p and Ifh1p, are key players in the transcription of RP genes. Both are found at transcribing RP genes in vivo. Ifh1p, but not Fhl1p, leaves the RP genes when transcription is repressed. The occupancy of the RP genes by Ifh1p depends on its interaction with the phospho-peptide recognizing forkhead-associated domain of Fhl1p. Disruption of this interaction is severely deleterious to ribosome synthesis and cell growth. Loss of functional Fhl1p leads to cells that have only 20% the normal amount of RNA and that synthesize ribosomes at only 5-10% the normal rate. Homeostatic mechanisms within the cell respond by reducing the transcription of rRNA to match the output of RPs, and by reducing the global transcription of mRNA to match the capacity of the translational apparatus.

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