The nucleolar antigen Nop52, the human homologue of the yeast ribosomal RNA processing RRP1, is recruited at late stages of nucleologenesis

J Cell Sci. 1999 Jun:112 ( Pt 12):1889-900. doi: 10.1242/jcs.112.12.1889.


We report the molecular characterization of a novel nucleolar protein, Nop52, and its subcellular distribution during the cell cycle and nucleologenesis. This protein was originally identified with human autoantibodies which were subsequently used to clone its corresponding cDNA. Transfection experiments in mammalian cells have confirmed that this cDNA encodes a nucleolar protein that accumulates in the nucleoli and at the periphery of the chromosomes. Nop52 is the putative human homologue of the yeast ribosomal RNA processing protein RRP1 which is involved in pre-rRNA processing from 27S to 25S and 5.8S. In nucleoli, Nop52 is excluded from the ribosomal RNA transcription sites, accumulates in the granular external domain and mainly colocalizes with nucleolar proteins involved in the late processing step such as hPop1 and protein B23. During the building process of the nucleolus at the end of mitosis, a sequential order was observed in the assembly of nucleolar proteins of early and late processing mainly via the prenucleolar body pathway. The order is the following: fibrillarin, nucleolin, Nop52 together with protein B23 in the prenucleolar bodies, and simultaneously with hPop1, and finally Ki-67. The evolutionary conservation of Nop52 and the lethal effects observed in gene disruption experiments, predict a critical role for Nop52 in the generation of 28S rRNA.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Autoantibodies / immunology
  • Autoantigens / analysis*
  • Bone Marrow Transplantation
  • Cell Cycle / physiology
  • Cell Nucleolus / physiology*
  • Cloning, Molecular
  • DNA, Complementary / genetics
  • HeLa Cells
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Nuclear Proteins / analysis*
  • Nucleotidyltransferases / genetics*
  • RNA Processing, Post-Transcriptional*
  • Saccharomyces cerevisiae / genetics*
  • Sequence Homology, Amino Acid


  • Autoantibodies
  • Autoantigens
  • DNA, Complementary
  • Nuclear Proteins
  • Nucleotidyltransferases