Nucleolar Association and Transcriptional Inhibition through 5S rDNA in Mammals

Abstract

Changes in the spatial positioning of genes within the mammalian nucleus have been associated with transcriptional differences and thus have been hypothesized as a mode of regulation. In particular, the localization of genes to the nuclear and nucleolar peripheries is associated with transcriptional repression. However, the mechanistic basis, including the pertinent cis- elements, for such associations remains largely unknown. Here, we provide evidence that demonstrates a 119 bp 5S rDNA can influence nucleolar association in mammals. We found that integration of transgenes with 5S rDNA significantly increases the association of the host region with the nucleolus, and their degree of association correlates strongly with repression of a linked reporter gene. We further show that this mechanism may be functional in endogenous contexts: pseudogenes derived from 5S rDNA show biased conservation of their internal transcription factor binding sites and, in some cases, are frequently associated with the nucleolus. These results demonstrate that 5S rDNA sequence can significantly contribute to the positioning of a locus and suggest a novel, endogenous mechanism for nuclear organization in mammals

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PubMed Central

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oai:pubmedcentral.nih.gov:3261910Last time updated on 7/8/2012View original full text link

This paper was published in PubMed Central.

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