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Mol Cell Biol. 2008 Jan;28(2):619-29. Epub 2007 Nov 8.

Deletion of Rnt1p alters the proportion of open versus closed rRNA gene repeats in yeast.

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  • 1Département de Microbiologie et d'Infectiologie, Faculté de Médecine, Université de Sherbrooke, 3001 12 Ave. Nord, Sherbrooke, Québec, Canada.


In Saccharomyces cerevisiae, the double-stranded-RNA-specific RNase III (Rnt1p) is required for the processing of pre-rRNA and coprecipitates with transcriptionally active rRNA gene repeats. Here we show that Rnt1p physically interacts with RNA polymerase I (RNAPI) and its deletion decreases the transcription of the rRNA gene and increases the number of rRNA genes with an open chromatin structure. In contrast, depletion of ribosomal proteins or factors that impair RNAPI termination did not increase the number of open rRNA gene repeats, suggesting that changes in the ratio of open and closed rRNA gene chromatin is not due to a nonspecific response to ribosome depletion or impaired termination. The results demonstrate that defects in pre-rRNA processing can influence the chromatin structure of the rRNA gene arrays and reveal links among the rRNA gene chromatin, transcription, and processing.

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