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EMBO J. 1996 Aug 1;15(15):3964-73.

RRN3 gene of Saccharomyces cerevisiae encodes an essential RNA polymerase I transcription factor which interacts with the polymerase independently of DNA template.

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Department of Biological Chemistry, University of California, Irvine, CA 92717, USA.


RRN3 is one of the RRN genes specifically required for the transcription of rDNA by RNA polymerase I (Pol I) in Saccharomyces cerevisiae. We have cloned the gene, determined the nucleotide sequence, and found that it is an essential gene which encodes a protein of calculated molecular weight of 72 369. Extracts prepared from rrn3 mutants were defective in in vitro transcription of rDNA templates. We used extracts from a strain containing an epitope-tagged Rrn3 protein to purify a factor that could complement the mutant extracts. Using immunoaffinity purification combined with Mono Q chromatography, we obtained an essentially pure preparation of Rrn3p which complements the mutant extracts. By carrying out template commitment experiments, we found that Rrn3p is not part of the pre-initiation complex that is stable through multiple rounds of transcription. We also found that pre-incubation of Rrn3p with purified Pol I leads to stimulation of transcription upon subsequent mixing with DNA template and other transcription reaction components. Single-round transcription experiments using the detergent Sarkosyl showed that this stimulation is due to increased efficiency of formation of a Sarkosyl-resistant pre-initiation complex. Thus, Rrn3p appears to interact directly with Pol I, apparently stimulating Pol I recruitment to the promoter, and is distinct from two other Pol I-specific transcription factors, the Rrn6/7 complex and the Rrn5/9/10 complex (UAF), characterized previously.

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