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NOL12 5'-3' exoribonucleases, conserved among eukaryotes, play important roles in pre-rRNA processing, ribosome assembly and export. The most well-described yeast counterpart, Rrp17, is required for maturation of 5.8 and 25S rRNAs, whereas human hNOL12 is crucial for the separation of the large (LSU) and small (SSU) ribosome subunit rRNA precursors. In this study we demonstrate that plant AtNOL12 is also involved in rRNA biogenesis, specifically in the processing of the LSU rRNA precursor, 27S pre-rRNA. Importantly, the absence of AtNOL12 alters the expression of many ribosomal protein and ribosome biogenesis genes. These changes could potentially exacerbate rRNA biogenesis defects, or, conversely, they might stem from the disturbed ribosome assembly caused by delayed pre-rRNA processing. Moreover, exposure of the nol12 mutant to stress factors, including heat and pathogen Pseudomonas syringae, enhances the observed molecular phenotypes, linking pre-rRNA processing to stress response pathways. The aberrant rRNA processing, dependent on AtNOL12, could impact ribosome function, as suggested by improved mutant resistance to ribosome-targeting antibiotics. Despite extensive studies, the pre-rRNA processing pathway in plants remains insufficiently characterized. Our investigation reveals the involvement of AtNOL12 in the maturation of rRNA precursors, correlating this process to stress response in Arabidopsis. These findings contribute to a more comprehensive understanding of plant ribosome biogenesis. © 2023. The Author(s).


Monika Zakrzewska-Placzek, Anna Golisz-Mocydlarz, Michal Krzyszton, Justyna Piotrowska, Malgorzata Lichocka, Joanna Kufel. The nucleolar protein NOL12 is required for processing of large ribosomal subunit rRNA precursors in Arabidopsis. BMC plant biology. 2023 Nov 03;23(1):538

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PMID: 37919659

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