Published on Feb. 1, 1997 in Mol Cell Biol volume 17.
PubMed ID: 8972218
To investigate the function of the nucleolar protein Nop2p in Saccharomyces cerevisiae, we constructed a strain in which NOP2 is under the control of a repressible promoter. Repression of NOP2 expression lengthens the doubling time of this strain about fivefold and reduces steady-state levels of 60S ribosomal subunits, 80S ribosomes, and polysomes. Levels of 40S subunits increase as the free pool of 60S subunits is reduced. Nop2p depletion impairs processing of the 35S pre-rRNA and inhibits processing of 27S pre-rRNA, which results in lower steady-state levels of 25S rRNA and 5.8S rRNA. Processing of 20S pre-rRNA to 18S rRNA is not significantly affected. Processing at sites A2, A3, B1L, and B1S and the generation of 5' termini of different pre-rRNA intermediates appear to be normal after Nop2p depletion. Sequence comparisons suggest that Nop2p may function as a methyltransferase. 2'-O-ribose methylation of the conserved site UmGm psi UC2922 is known to take place during processing of 27S pre-rRNA. Although Nop2p depletion lengthens the half-life of 27S pre-RNA, methylation of UmGm psi UC2922 in 27S pre-rRNA is low during Nop2p depletion. However, methylation of UmGm psi UC2922 in mature 25S rRNA appears normal. These findings provide evidence for a close interconnection between methylation at this conserved site and the processing step that yields the 25S rRNA.