Nascent ribosomal RNA act as surfactant that suppresses growth of fibrillar centers in nucleolus
|Commun. Biol. 6(1):1129 (2023)
|Nascent ribosomal RNA act as surfactant that suppresses growth of fibrillar centers in nucleolus
|RNA Biofunction Laboratory〈Prof. HIROSE Tetsuro〉
Liquid-liquid phase separation (LLPS) has been thought to be the biophysical principle governing the assembly of the multiphase structures of nucleoli, the site of ribosomal biogenesis. Condensates assembled through LLPS increase their sizes to minimize the surface energy as far as their components are available. However, multiple microphases, fibrillar centers (FCs), dispersed in a nucleolus are stable and their sizes do not grow unless the transcription of pre-ribosomal RNA (pre-rRNA) is inhibited. To understand the mechanism of the suppression of the FC growth, we here construct a minimal theoretical model by taking into account nascent pre-rRNAs tethered to FC surfaces by RNA polymerase I. The prediction of this theory was supported by our experiments that quantitatively measure the dependence of the size of FCs on the transcription level. This work sheds light on the role of nascent RNAs in controlling the size of nuclear bodies.