The NoRC complex mediates the heterochromatin formation and stability of silent rRNA genes and centromeric repeats

EMBO J. 2010 Jul 7;29(13):2135-46. doi: 10.1038/emboj.2010.17. Epub 2010 Feb 18.


Maintenance of specific heterochromatic domains is crucial for genome stability. In eukaryotic cells, a fraction of the tandem-repeated ribosomal RNA (rRNA) genes is organized in the heterochromatic structures. The principal determinant of rDNA silencing is the nucleolar remodelling complex, NoRC, that consists of TIP5 (TTF-1-interacting protein-5) and the ATPase SNF2h. Here we showed that TIP5 not only mediates the establishment of rDNA silencing but also the formation of perinucleolar heterochromatin that contains centric and pericentric repeats. Our data indicated that the TIP5-mediated heterochromatin is indispensable for stability of silent rRNA genes and of major and minor satellite repeats. Moreover, depletion of TIP5 impairs rDNA silencing, upregulates rDNA transcription levels and induces cell transformation. These findings point to a role of TIP5 in protecting genome stability and suggest that it can play a role in the cellular transformation process.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Proliferation
  • Chromosomal Proteins, Non-Histone / metabolism*
  • DNA, Ribosomal / genetics*
  • Gene Silencing
  • Genes, rRNA*
  • Genomic Instability
  • Heterochromatin / metabolism*
  • Mice
  • NIH 3T3 Cells


  • Baz2a protein, mouse
  • Chromosomal Proteins, Non-Histone
  • DNA, Ribosomal
  • Heterochromatin