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Regulation of human ribosomal RNA transcription

, : Regulation of human ribosomal RNA transcription. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 80(12): 3558-3562

We have used a cell-free polymerase I transcription system derived from HeLa cells to study the regulation of human rRNA synthesis. Analysis of deletion mutants spanning the start site of transcription at nucleotide +1 indicates that the control region affecting initiation of human rRNA synthesis is contained within sequences from nucleotides -158 to +18. This promoter region can be subdivided into (i) a central segment of approximately 40 base pair that is required for transcription and (ii) flanking sequences that influence the efficiency of transcription in vitro. We have examined the in vitro transcriptional activity of the human extract under various conditions that are thought to modulate rRNA synthesis in vivo. Cell-free extracts prepared from HeLa cells infected with adenovirus 2 synthesize human rRNA at levels greatly decreased relative to uninfected cell extracts. By contrast, in vitro transcription of human rRNA is stimulated 2- to 3-fold by the addition of purified simian virus 40 large tumor antigen to the transcription reaction. Moreover, a mutant tumor antigen known to be defective for rRNA activation in vivo is incapable of stimulating rRNA synthesis in vitro. The ability to detect these different regulatory phenomena in vitro provides us with an experimental basis for investigating the molecular mechanisms that control rRNA synthesis.

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Accession: 044174506

PMID: 6304717

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