Crosstalk in gene expression: coupling and co-regulation of rDNA transcription, pre-ribosome assembly and pre-rRNA processing

Curr Opin Cell Biol. 2005 Jun;17(3):281-6. doi: 10.1016/


Ribosomes, the large RNPs that translate mRNA into protein in the cytoplasm of eukaryotic cells, are synthesized in a subcompartment of the nucleus, the nucleolus. There, transcription by Pol I yields a pre-rRNA which is modified, cleaved and assembled with ribosomal proteins to make functional ribosomes. Previously, rRNA transcription and pre-rRNA cleavage in eukaryotes were considered to be separable steps in gene expression. However, recent findings suggest that these two steps in gene expression can be concurrent and are co-regulated. Unexpectedly, optimal rDNA transcription requires the presence of a defined subset of components of the pre-rRNA processing machinery.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Gene Expression Regulation / physiology
  • Genes, rRNA / genetics*
  • Models, Biological
  • RNA Polymerase I / metabolism
  • RNA Processing, Post-Transcriptional / physiology*
  • RNA, Ribosomal / genetics
  • RNA, Ribosomal / metabolism*
  • RNA, Ribosomal / ultrastructure
  • Ribonucleoproteins, Small Nucleolar / metabolism
  • Ribosomes / metabolism
  • Saccharomyces cerevisiae / genetics
  • Saccharomyces cerevisiae / metabolism
  • Transcription, Genetic*


  • RNA, Ribosomal
  • Ribonucleoproteins, Small Nucleolar
  • RNA Polymerase I