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Keywords:

  • cell cycle;
  • ChIP;
  • histone acetyl transferase;
  • RPS27a ;
  • transcriptional regulation

Nucleolar assembly begins at the early G1 phase of the cell cycle and is a hub of ribosomal DNA transcription and rRNA biosynthesis. The newly-formed rRNAs together with ribosomal proteins (RPs) constitute the building block of the ribosomal machinery. Although RPs play a major role in protein biosynthesis, their own regulation and expression is rather poorly understood. In the present study, we investigated the regulation of RP genes RPS27a, RPS24, RPS6, RPL9 and RPL4 in synchronized mammalian cell culture. Quantitative RT-PCR analysis indicated their expression during the mid to late G1 phase, whereas the rRNA genes were expressed during the early G1 phase of the cell cycle. The promoter reporter analysis of the RPS27a gene revealed that it could be synergistically stimulated by the transcription factors specificity protein 1 (Sp1) and cAMP response element-binding protein (CREB). However, E2F transcription factor 1 (E2F1) appeared to negatively regulate gene expression. Chromatin immunoprecipitation studies confirmed the promoter occupancy of Sp1, CREB and E2F1. Although Sp1 and CREB binding enhanced the promoter occupancy of histone acetyltransferases PCAF, p300 and CREB binding protein, E2F1 facilitated the recruitment of histone deacetylases. Both acetylation (histone H4 pan-acetyl, histone H3 acetyl Lys 14) and methylation (histone H3 trimethyl Lys 9) marks were observed in the RPS27a promoter region, suggesting their important regulatory role in gene expression. Because the promoter regions of most RP genes are well conserved, we propose that their orchestrated regulation and synthesis during the cell cycle facilitates ribosome biogenesis.