inhibition of pre-rRNA synthesis will help to ..
Nucleolus: Structure and Function
AB - Specific hybridization assays for intermediates in rRNA synthesis (pre- rRNA) may become useful fur monitoring the growth activity of individual microbial species in complex natural systems. This possibility depends upon the assumption that rRNA processing in microbial cells continues after growth and pre-rRNA synthesis cease, resulting in drainage of the pre-rRNA pool. This is not the case in many eukaryotic cells, but less is known about the situation in bacteria. Therefore, we used DNA probes to measure steady-state cellular pre-16S rRNA pools during growth slate transitions in Escherichia coli. Pre-16S rRNA became undetectable when cells entered the stationary phase on rich medium and was replenished upon restoration of favorable growth conditions. These fluctuations were of much greater magnitude than concurrent fluctuations in the mature 16S rRNA pool. The extent of pre-16S rRNA depletion depended upon the circumstances limiting growth. It was significantly more pronounced in carbon-energy-starved cells than in nitrogen-starved cells or in cells treated with energy uncouplers. In the presence of the transcriptional inhibitor rifampin, rates of pre-16S rRNA depletion in carbon-energy-starved cells and nitrogen-starved cells were similar, suggesting that the difference between these conditions resides primarily at the level of pre-rRNA synthesis. Chloramphenicol, which inhibits the final steps in rRNA maturation, halted pre-16S rRNA depletion under all conditions. The data show that E. coli cells continue to process pre-rRNA after growth and rrn operon transcription cease, leading to drainage of the pre-rRNA pool. This supports the feasibility of using pre-rRNA-targeted probes to monitor bacterial growth in natural systems, with the caveat that patterns of pre-rRNA depletion vary with the conditions limiting growth.
Protein Synthesis -Translation and Regulation
N2 - We have examined the cytological localization of rRNA synthesis, transport, and processing events within the mammalian cell nucleolus by double-label fluorescent in situ hybridization analysis using probes for small selected segments of pre-rRNA, which have known half-lives. In particular, a probe for an extremely short-lived 5′ region that is not found separate of the pre-rRNA identifies nascent transcripts within the nucleolus of an intact active cell, while other characterized probes identify molecules at different stages in the rRNA processing pathway. Through these studies, visualized by confocal and normal light microscopy, we (1) confirm that rDNA transcription occurs in small foci within nucleoli (2) show that the nascent pre-rRNA transcripts and most likely also the rDNA templates are surprisingly extended in the nucleolus, (3) provide evidence that the 5′ end of the nascent rRNA transcript moves more rapidly away from the template DNA than does the 3′ end of the newly released transcript, and (4) demonstrate that the various subsequent rRNA processing steps occur sequentially further from the transcription site, with each early processing event taking place in a distinct nucleolar subdomain. These last three points are contrary to the generally accepted paradigms of nucleolar organization and function. Our findings also imply that the nucleolus is considerably more complex than the conventional view, inferred from electron micrographs, of only three kinds of regions-fibrillar centers, dense fibrillar components, and granular components-for the dense fibrillar component evidently consists of several functionally distinct sub-domains that correlate with different steps of ribosome biogenesis.