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    Ribosome synthesis is an essential process in all cells. In Sacharomyces cerevisiae, the precursor rRNA, 35S pre-rRNA, is folded and assembled into a 90S pre-ribosomal complex. The 40S ribosomal subunit is processed from the pre-ribosomal complex. This requires concerted action of small nucleolar RNAs, such as U3 snoRNA, and a large number of trans-acting factors. Mrd1p, one of the essential small ribosomal subunit synthesis factors is required for cleavage of the 35S pre-rRNA to generate 18S rRNA of the small ribosomal subunit. Mrd1p is evolutionary conserved in all eukaryotes and in yeast it contains five RNA Binding Domains (RBDs) separated by linker regions. One of these linkers, Linker 2 between RBD2 and RBD3, is conserved in length, predicted to be structured and contains conserved clusters of amino acid residues. In this report, we have analysed Linker 2 mutations and demonstrate that it is essential for Mrd1p function during pre-ribosomal processing. Extensive changes of amino acid residues as well as specific changes of conserved clusters of amino acid residues were found to be incompatible with synthesis of pre-40S ribosomes and cell growth. In addition, gross changes in primary sequence of Linker 2 resulted in Mrd1p instability, leading to degradation of the N-terminal part of the protein. Our data indicates that Linker 2 is functionally coupled to RBD2 and argues for that these domains constitute a functional module in Mrd1p. We conclude that Linker 2 has an essential role for Mrd1p beyond just providing a defined length between RBD2 and RBD3.


    Fredrik Lackmann, Sergey Belikov, Lars Wieslander. Linker 2 of the eukaryotic pre-ribosomal processing factor Mrd1p is an essential interdomain functionally coupled to upstream RNA Binding Domain 2 (RBD2). PloS one. 2017;12(4):e0175506

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    PMID: 28388671

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