Research Articles

Functional cooperativity between transcription factors UBF1 and SL1 mediates human ribosomal RNA synthesis

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Science  02 Sep 1988:
Vol. 241, Issue 4870, pp. 1192-1197
DOI: 10.1126/science.3413483


The human ribosomal RNA promoter contains two distinct control elements (UCE and core) both of which are recognized by the sequence-specific DNA binding protein UBF1, which has now been purified to apparent homogeneity. The purified factor activates RNA polymerase I (RNA pol I) transcription through direct interactions with either control element. A second RNA pol I transcription factor, designated SL1, participates in the promoter recognition process and is required to reconstitute transcription in vitro. Although SL1 alone has no sequence-specific DNA binding activity, deoxyribonuclease I footprinting experiments reveal that a cooperative interaction between UBF1 and SL1 leads to the formation of a new protein-DNA complex at the UCE and core elements. In vitro transcription experiments indicate that formation of the UBF1-SL1 complex is vital for transcriptional activation by UBF1. Thus, protein-protein interactions between UBF1 and SL1 are required for targeting of SL1 to cis-control sequences of the promoter.

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