Basic domains target protein subunits of the RNase MRP complex to the nucleolus independently of complex association.
SourceMolecular Biology of the Cell, 12, 11, (2001), pp. 3680-3689
Article / Letter to editor
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Molecular Biology of the Cell
The RNase MRP and RNase P ribonucleoprotein particles both function as endoribonucleases, have a similar RNA component, and share several protein subunits. RNase MRP has been implicated in pre-rRNA processing and mitochondrial DNA replication, whereas RNase P functions in pre-tRNA processing. Both RNase MRP and RNase P accumulate in the nucleolus of eukaryotic cells. In this report we show that for three protein subunits of the RNase MRP complex (hPop1, hPop4, and Rpp38) basic domains are responsible for their nucleolar accumulation and that they are able to accumulate in the nucleolus independently of their association with the RNase MRP and RNase P complexes. We also show that certain mutants of hPop4 accumulate in the Cajal bodies, suggesting that hPop4 traverses through these bodies to the nucleolus. Furthermore, we characterized a deletion mutant of Rpp38 that preferentially associates with the RNase MRP complex, giving a first clue about the difference in protein composition of the human RNase MRP and RNase P complexes. On the basis of all available data on nucleolar localization sequences, we hypothesize that nucleolar accumulation of proteins containing basic domains proceeds by diffusion and retention rather than by an active transport process. The existence of nucleolar localization sequences is discussed.
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