Research ArticleMOLECULAR BIOLOGY

Conserved Regulators of Nucleolar Size Revealed by Global Phenotypic Analyses

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Science Signaling  20 Aug 2013:
Vol. 6, Issue 289, pp. ra70
DOI: 10.1126/scisignal.2004145

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Regulating Nucleolar Size

The higher proliferation rate of cancer cells requires an increased rate of protein synthesis. Thus, cancer cells often show increased rates of ribosomal DNA (rDNA) transcription and have more ribosomes and larger nucleoli, which are nuclear structures that function in ribosome biogenesis. Neumüller et al. identified genes in yeast that, when ablated, resulted in smaller or larger nucleoli. A similar analysis in Drosophila enabled the identification of evolutionarily conserved molecular complexes that increase or decrease nucleolar size when the complex constituents were targeted by RNA interference. Understanding how cells regulate rDNA transcription could provide new therapeutic avenues for interfering with the unrestricted growth that occurs in cancer.

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