Reference: El Hage A, et al. (2010) Loss of Topoisomerase I leads to R-loop-mediated transcriptional blocks during ribosomal RNA synthesis. Genes Dev 24(14):1546-58

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Abstract


Pre-rRNA transcription by RNA Polymerase I (Pol I) is very robust on active rDNA repeats. Loss of yeast Topoisomerase I (Top1) generated truncated pre-rRNA fragments, which were stabilized in strains lacking TRAMP (Trf4/Trf5-Air1/Air2-Mtr4 polyadenylation complexes) or exosome degradation activities. Loss of both Top1 and Top2 blocked pre-rRNA synthesis, with pre-rRNAs truncated predominately in the 18S 5' region. Positive supercoils in front of Pol I are predicted to slow elongation, while rDNA opening in its wake might cause R-loop formation. Chromatin immunoprecipitation analysis showed substantial levels of RNA/DNA hybrids in the wild type, particularly over the 18S 5' region. The absence of RNase H1 and H2 in cells depleted of Top1 increased the accumulation of RNA/DNA hybrids and reduced pre-rRNA truncation and pre-rRNA synthesis. Hybrid accumulation over the rDNA was greatly exacerbated when Top1, Top2, and RNase H were all absent. Electron microscopy (EM) analysis revealed Pol I pileups in the wild type, particularly over the 18S. Pileups were longer and more frequent in the absence of Top1, and their frequency was exacerbated when RNase H activity was also lacking. We conclude that the loss of Top1 enhances inherent R-loop formation, particularly over the 5' region of the rDNA, imposing persistent transcription blocks when RNase H is limiting.

Reference Type
Journal Article
Authors
El Hage A, French SL, Beyer AL, Tollervey D
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