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Mol Cell Biol. 2006 Aug;26(16):6239-47.

Ribosomal DNA transcription-dependent processes interfere with chromosome segregation.

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Center for Cancer Research, Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, E17-233, 40 Ames Street, Cambridge, MA 02139, USA.


The ribosomal DNA (rDNA) is a specialized genomic region not only owing to its function as the nucleolar organizing region (NOR) but also because it is repetitive in nature and, at least in budding yeast, silenced for polymerase II (Pol II)-mediated transcription. Furthermore, cohesin-independent linkages hold the sister chromatids together at the rDNA loci, and their resolution requires the activity of the conserved protein phosphatase Cdc14. Here we show that rRNA transcription-dependent processes establish linkages at the rDNA, which affect segregation of this locus. Inactivation of Cfi1/Net1, a protein required for efficient rRNA transcription, or elimination of Pol I activity, which drives rRNA transcription, diminishes the need for CDC14 in rDNA segregation. Our results identify Pol I transcription-dependent processes as a novel means of establishing linkages between chromosomes.

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