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PLoS Genet. 2010 Nov 24;6(11):e1001225. doi: 10.1371/journal.pgen.1001225.

Nucleolin is required for DNA methylation state and the expression of rRNA gene variants in Arabidopsis thaliana.

Author information

1
UMR 5096 CNRS-IRD-University de Perpignan, Perpignan, France.

Abstract

In eukaryotes, 45S rRNA genes are arranged in tandem arrays in copy numbers ranging from several hundred to several thousand in plants. Although it is clear that not all copies are transcribed under normal growth conditions, the molecular basis controlling the expression of specific sets of rRNA genes remains unclear. Here, we report four major rRNA gene variants in Arabidopsis thaliana. Interestingly, while transcription of one of these rRNA variants is induced, the others are either repressed or remain unaltered in A. thaliana plants with a disrupted nucleolin-like protein gene (Atnuc-L1). Remarkably, the most highly represented rRNA gene variant, which is inactive in WT plants, is reactivated in Atnuc-L1 mutants. We show that accumulated pre-rRNAs originate from RNA Pol I transcription and are processed accurately. Moreover, we show that disruption of the AtNUC-L1 gene induces loss of symmetrical DNA methylation without affecting histone epigenetic marks at rRNA genes. Collectively, these data reveal a novel mechanism for rRNA gene transcriptional regulation in which the nucleolin protein plays a major role in controlling active and repressed rRNA gene variants in Arabidopsis.

PMID:
21124873
PMCID:
PMC2991258
DOI:
10.1371/journal.pgen.1001225
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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