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The association of late-acting snoRNPs with human pre-ribosomal complexes requires the RNA helicase DDX21

Lookup NU author(s): Katherine Sloan, Dr Nick Watkins



This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License (CC BY-NC 4.0).


Translation fidelity and efficiency require multiple ribosomal (r)RNA modifications that are mostly mediated by small nucleolar (sno)RNPs during ribosome production. Overlapping basepairing of snoRNAs with pre-rRNAs often necessitates sequential and efficient association and dissociation of the snoRNPs, however, how such hierarchy is established has remained unknown so far. Here, we identify several late-acting snoRNAs that bind pre-40S particles in human cells and show that their association and function in pre-40S complexes is regulated by the RNA helicase DDX21. We map DDX21 crosslinking sites on pre-rRNAs and show their overlap with the basepairing sites of the affected snoRNAs. While DDX21 activity is required for recruitment of the late-acting snoRNAs SNORD56 and SNORD68, earlier snoRNAs are not affected by DDX21 depletion. Together, these observations provide an understanding of the timing and ordered hierarchy of snoRNP action in pre-40S maturation and reveal a novel mode of regulation of snoRNP function by an RNA helicase in human cells.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Sloan KE, Leisegang MS, Doebele C, Ramirez AS, Simm S, Safferthal C, Kretschmer J, Schorge T, Markoutsa S, Haag S, Karas M, Ebersberger I, Schleiff E, Watkins NJ, Bohnsack MT

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Nucleic Acid Research

Year: 2014

Volume: 43

Issue: 1

Pages: 553-564

Online publication date: 04/12/2014

Acceptance date: 26/11/2014

Date deposited: 25/08/2015

ISSN (print): 0305-1048

ISSN (electronic): 1362-4962

Publisher: Oxford University Press


DOI: 10.1093/nar/gku1291


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Funder referenceFunder name
Cluster of Excellence Frankfurt
Dorothea Schlozer postdoctoral fellowship
Gottingen University
Wellcome Trust
Alexander von Humboldt postdoctoral fellowship
Biodiversity and Climate Research Centre Frankfurt [BIK-F]
Gottingen University Medical Department
BO 3442/1-1Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft
SFB 902Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft