Transcription from the rat 45S ribosomal DNA promoter does not require the factor UBF

Gene Expr. 1993;3(3):229-36.


For efficient transcription from the rat ribosomal DNA (rDNA) promoter by RNA polymerase I in vitro, at least two transcription factors, rat UBF and rat SL-1, are required. Transcription cannot take place in vitro in the absence of SL-1. On the other hand, there is considerable difference of opinion concerning the necessity for UBF in in vitro transcription mediated by RNA polymerase 1, and the requirement for UBF is not clear. Mammalian cells code for UBF1 and UBF2, two forms of UBF that differ in HMG box-2, one of four HMG boxes or DNA-binding domains. We have used a monospecific antibody raised to recombinant rat UBF to determine whether UBF1 and UBF2 are required for RNA polymerase I-mediated transcription. This antibody can detect as little as 1.35 x 10(-15) moles of UBF1 or UBF2 in an immunoblot. Fractionated extracts that were competent for transcription had no detectable UBF1 or UBF2 when assayed in immunoblots with this antiserum. This evidence supports the hypothesis that UBF is not required for transcription of the rat rDNA promoter in vitro and most likely functions as an auxillary transcription factor. In addition, we have fractionated rat UBF1 from UBF2 and tested each of them in in vitro transcription assays in which the 45S or spacer rDNA promoter template is limiting. UBF1 can activate transcription from either the 45S or spacer promoter under these conditions, whereas UBF2 cannot. This implies that there is a functional difference in the transactivation of RNA polymerase I by UBF1 and UBF2 in vitro.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Line
  • Chlorocebus aethiops
  • DNA, Neoplasm / genetics
  • DNA, Recombinant / genetics
  • DNA, Ribosomal / genetics*
  • DNA-Binding Proteins / physiology*
  • Fibroblasts / metabolism
  • Liver Neoplasms, Experimental
  • Pol1 Transcription Initiation Complex Proteins*
  • Promoter Regions, Genetic*
  • RNA Polymerase I / metabolism
  • RNA, Ribosomal / genetics*
  • Rats
  • Transcription Factors / physiology*
  • Transcription, Genetic*
  • Tumor Cells, Cultured


  • DNA, Neoplasm
  • DNA, Recombinant
  • DNA, Ribosomal
  • DNA-Binding Proteins
  • Pol1 Transcription Initiation Complex Proteins
  • RNA, Ribosomal
  • RNA, ribosomal, 45S
  • Transcription Factors
  • transcription factor UBF
  • RNA Polymerase I