RNA and Cancer pp 139-152 | Cite as

The Perinucleolar Compartment: RNA Metabolism and Cancer

  • John T. Norton
  • Sui HuangEmail author
Part of the Cancer Treatment and Research book series (CTAR, volume 158)


The perinucleolar compartment (PNC) is a nuclear substructure associated with, but structurally distinct from, the nucleolus. The PNC contains several RNA processing proteins and several RNA pol III transcripts, which form novel complexes. As determined by cell culture experiments and human tumor samples, the PNC forms exclusively in cancer cells and the percentage of cancer cells in a population that have one or more PNCs directly correlates with the malignancy of that population of cells. Therefore, the PNC is being developed as a prognostic marker for several malignancies. PNC elimination in cancer cells has proven to be a useful as screening method to discover probe compounds used to elucidate PNC biology and to discover compounds with the potential to be developed as minimally toxic anti-cancer drugs.


Nuclear architecture PNC RNPs Chromatin Cancer 



We would like to thank the partial funding from the Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center, and grant to SH from NIH, R01 GM078555.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Cell and Molecular BiologyNorthwestern University Feinberg School of MedicineChicagoUSA
  2. 2.Department of Cell and Molecular BiologyNorthwestern UniversityChicagoUSA

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