RNA polymerase I-specific subunits promote polymerase clustering to enhance the rRNA gene transcription cycle

Benjamin Albert, Isabelle Leger-Silvestre, Christophe Normand, Martin K. Ostermaier, Jorge Perez-Fernandez, Kostya I. Panov, Joost C. B. M. Zomerdijk, Patrick Schultz, Olivier Gadal (Lead / Corresponding author)

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    RNA polymerase I (Pol I) produces large ribosomal RNAs (rRNAs). In this study, we show that the Rpa49 and Rpa34 Pol I subunits, which do not have counterparts in Pol II and Pol III complexes, are functionally conserved using heterospecific complementation of the human and Schizosaccharomyces pombe orthologues in Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Deletion of RPA49 leads to the disappearance of nucleolar structure, but nucleolar assembly can be restored by decreasing ribosomal gene copy number from 190 to 25. Statistical analysis of Miller spreads in the absence of Rpa49 demonstrates a fourfold decrease in Pol I loading rate per gene and decreased contact between adjacent Pol I complexes. Therefore, the Rpa34 and Rpa49 Poll specific subunits are essential for nucleolar assembly and for the high polynnerase loading rate associated with frequent contact between adjacent enzymes. Together our data suggest that localized rRNA production results in spatially constrained rRNA production, which is instrumental for nucleolar assembly.

    © 2011 Albert et al. This article is distributed under the terms of an Attribution–Noncommercial–Share Alike–No Mirror Sites license for the first six months after the publication date (see http://www.rupress.org/terms). After six months it is available under a Creative Commons License (Attribution–Noncommercial–Share Alike 3.0 Unported license, as described at http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0/).

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)277-293
    Number of pages17
    JournalJournal of Cell Biology
    Issue number2
    Publication statusPublished - 24 Jan 2011


    • A49 SUBUNIT
    • YEAST
    • DNA


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