Nucleolar structure connects with global nuclear organization

bioRxiv [Preprint]. 2023 Mar 31:2023.03.30.534966. doi: 10.1101/2023.03.30.534966.


The nucleolus is a multi-functional nuclear body. To tease out the roles of nucleolar structure without resorting to multi-action drugs, we knocked down RNA polymerase I subunit RPA194 in HeLa cells by siRNA. Loss of RPA194 resulted in nucleolar structural segregation and effects on both nucleolus-proximal and distal nuclear components. The perinucleolar compartment was disrupted, centromere-nucleolus interactions were significantly reduced, and the intranuclear locations of specific genomic loci were altered. Moreover, Cajal bodies, distal from nucleoli, underwent morphological and compositional changes. To distinguish whether these global reorganizations are the results of nucleolar structural disruption or inhibition of ribosome synthesis, the pre-ribosomal RNA processing factor, UTP4, was also knocked down, which did not lead to nucleolar segregation, nor the intranuclear effects seen with RPA195A knockdown, demonstrating that they do not arise from a cessation of ribosome synthesis. These findings point to a commutative system that links nucleolar structure to the maintenance and spatial organization of certain nuclear bodies and genomic loci.

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