Ccr4-not regulates RNA polymerase I transcription and couples nutrient signaling to the control of ribosomal RNA biogenesis

PLoS Genet. 2015 Mar 27;11(3):e1005113. doi: 10.1371/journal.pgen.1005113. eCollection 2015 Mar.


Ribosomal RNA synthesis is controlled by nutrient signaling through the mechanistic target of rapamycin complex 1 (mTORC1) pathway. mTORC1 regulates ribosomal RNA expression by affecting RNA Polymerase I (Pol I)-dependent transcription of the ribosomal DNA (rDNA) but the mechanisms involved remain obscure. This study provides evidence that the Ccr4-Not complex, which regulates RNA Polymerase II (Pol II) transcription, also functions downstream of mTORC1 to control Pol I activity. Ccr4-Not localizes to the rDNA and physically associates with the Pol I holoenzyme while Ccr4-Not disruption perturbs rDNA binding of multiple Pol I transcriptional regulators including core factor, the high mobility group protein Hmo1, and the SSU processome. Under nutrient rich conditions, Ccr4-Not suppresses Pol I initiation by regulating interactions with the essential transcription factor Rrn3. Additionally, Ccr4-Not disruption prevents reduced Pol I transcription when mTORC1 is inhibited suggesting Ccr4-Not bridges mTORC1 signaling with Pol I regulation. Analysis of the non-essential Pol I subunits demonstrated that the A34.5 subunit promotes, while the A12.2 and A14 subunits repress, Ccr4-Not interactions with Pol I. Furthermore, ccr4Δ is synthetically sick when paired with rpa12Δ and the double mutant has enhanced sensitivity to transcription elongation inhibition suggesting that Ccr4-Not functions to promote Pol I elongation. Intriguingly, while low concentrations of mTORC1 inhibitors completely inhibit growth of ccr4Δ, a ccr4Δ rpa12Δ rescues this growth defect suggesting that the sensitivity of Ccr4-Not mutants to mTORC1 inhibition is at least partially due to Pol I deregulation. Collectively, these data demonstrate a novel role for Ccr4-Not in Pol I transcriptional regulation that is required for bridging mTORC1 signaling to ribosomal RNA synthesis.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Cell Cycle Proteins / genetics
  • Cell Cycle Proteins / metabolism
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Fungal
  • Mechanistic Target of Rapamycin Complex 1
  • Multiprotein Complexes / genetics*
  • Multiprotein Complexes / metabolism
  • Pol1 Transcription Initiation Complex Proteins / genetics
  • Pol1 Transcription Initiation Complex Proteins / metabolism
  • RNA Polymerase I / biosynthesis*
  • RNA Polymerase I / genetics
  • RNA Polymerase II / biosynthesis
  • RNA Polymerase II / genetics
  • RNA, Ribosomal / biosynthesis
  • Ribonucleases / genetics*
  • Ribonucleases / metabolism
  • Ribosomes / genetics
  • Saccharomyces cerevisiae
  • Saccharomyces cerevisiae Proteins / genetics*
  • Saccharomyces cerevisiae Proteins / metabolism
  • Signal Transduction
  • TOR Serine-Threonine Kinases / genetics*
  • TOR Serine-Threonine Kinases / metabolism
  • Transcription Factors / genetics
  • Transcription Factors / metabolism
  • Transcription, Genetic*


  • CDC39 protein, S cerevisiae
  • Cell Cycle Proteins
  • Multiprotein Complexes
  • Pol1 Transcription Initiation Complex Proteins
  • RNA, Ribosomal
  • RRN3 protein, S cerevisiae
  • Saccharomyces cerevisiae Proteins
  • Transcription Factors
  • TOR Serine-Threonine Kinases
  • Mechanistic Target of Rapamycin Complex 1
  • RNA Polymerase II
  • RNA Polymerase I
  • CCR4 protein, S cerevisiae
  • Ribonucleases