, Volume 106, Issue 8, pp 493-502

ASE-1: a novel protein of the fibrillar centres of the nucleolus and nucleolus organizer region of mitotic chromosomes

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Abstract. 

A novel nucleolar component has been identified and cloned using a human autoimmune serum. This antigen, as inferred from the cDNA sequence, is an Mr 55000 protein. Immuno blot analysis, however, of both the native protein and the in vitro translation products of the cDNA showed that they migrate on SDS-PAGE at an apparent molecular mass of 90000 A BLAST search using the cDNA sequence indicated that it is in an antisense orientation to and overlaps the gene of the DNA repair enzyme ERCC-1. An open reading frame, without a translational start site, had been observed by others in this region of the chromosome 19 (19q13.3) and the putative protein was termed ASE-1 (Anti-Sense to ERCC-1). Our cDNA is a full-length equivalent of that open reading frame. ASE-1 was found to contain two domains that are present in a number of nucleolar specific proteins originating from a variety of organisms: a glycine-, arginine- and phenylalanine-rich putative nucleotide interaction domain and an alternating basic/acidic region. Indirect immunofluorescence analysis using antibodies generated to cloned regions of ASE-1 indicated that this protein occurs at the fibrillar centres of the nucleolus in interphase, the putative sites of rDNA transcription, and during cell division it is localized to the nucleolus organizer regions of the chromosomes. ASE-1 co-localises with the RNA polymerase I transcription initiation factor UBF/NOR-90 throughout all stages of the cell cycle and these two proteins associate with each other in vitro.

Received: 1 May 1997; in revised form: 24 July 1997 / Accepted: 22 August 1997