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Nucleic Acids Res. 2006;34(17):4826-36. Epub 2006 Sep 13.

Spatial organization of transcription by RNA polymerase III.

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Department of Biological Chemistry, University of Michigan, 1150 W. Medical Center Drive, 3200 MSRBIII, Ann Arbor, MI 48109-0606, USA.


RNA polymerase III (pol III) transcribes many essential, small, noncoding RNAs, including the 5S rRNAs and tRNAs. While most pol III-transcribed genes are found scattered throughout the linear chromosome maps or in multiple linear clusters, there is increasing evidence that many of these genes prefer to be spatially clustered, often at or near the nucleolus. This association could create an environment that fosters the coregulation of transcription by pol III with transcription of the large ribosomal RNA repeats by RNA polymerase I (pol I) within the nucleolus. Given the high number of pol III-transcribed genes in all eukaryotic genomes, the spatial organization of these genes is likely to affect a large portion of the other genes in a genome. In this Survey and Summary we analyze the reports regarding the spatial organization of pol III genes and address the potential influence of this organization on transcriptional regulation.

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