DNA replication initiator Cdc6 also regulates ribosomal DNA transcription initiation

Shijiao Huang, Xiaowei Xu, Guopeng Wang, Guoliang Lu, Wenbing Xie, Wei Tao, Hongyin Zhang, Qing Jiang, Chuanmao Zhang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


RNA-polymerase-I-dependent ribosomal DNA (rDNA) transcription is fundamental to rRNA processing, ribosome assembly and protein synthesis. However, how this process is initiated during the cell cycle is not fully understood. By performing a proteomic analysis of transcription factors that bind RNA polymerase I during rDNA transcription initiation, we identified that the DNA replication initiator Cdc6 interacts with RNA polymerase I and its co-factors, and promotes rDNA transcription in G1 phase in an ATPase-activity-dependent manner. We further showed that Cdc6 is targeted to the nucleolus during late mitosis and G1 phase in a manner that is dependent on B23 (also known as nucleophosmin, NPM1), and preferentially binds to the rDNA promoter through its ATP-binding domain. Overexpression of Cdc6 increases rDNA transcription, whereas knockdown of Cdc6 results in a decreased association of both RNA polymerase I and the RNA polymerase I transcription factor RRN3 with rDNA, and a reduction of rDNA transcription. Furthermore, depletion of Cdc6 impairs the interaction between RRN3 and RNA polymerase I. Taken together, our data demonstrate that Cdc6 also serves as a regulator of rDNA transcription initiation, and indicate a mechanism by which initiation of rDNA transcription and DNA replication can be coordinated in cells.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1429-1440
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of cell science
Issue number7
StatePublished - Apr 1 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • Cdc6
  • Cell cycle
  • Nucleophosmin
  • RNA polymerase I
  • RRN3
  • rDNA transcription

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cell Biology


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