Encyclopedia of Cancer

Living Edition
| Editors: Manfred Schwab

RNA Polymerase I Transcription

  • Denis Drygin
  • Ross Hannan
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-642-27841-9_7174-3



RNA polymerase I (Pol I) transcription occurs in the nucleolus, a non-membrane-bound nuclear organelle, where a multimeric Pol I complex transcribes from ribosomal DNA (rDNA) repeats 47S pre-ribosomal RNA, which is then being processed into 28S, 18S, and 5.8S mature ribosomal RNAs (rRNAs).



Eukaryotic RNA polymerase I complex consists of 14 subunits with a 10-subunit catalytic core that is structurally and functionally conserved among all three eukaryotic RNA polymerases. In addition to the Pol I complex itself, the Pol I machinery contains two transcriptional factors, a dimer of upstream binding factor (UBF) and multimeric complex selectivity ligand 1 (SL1/TIF-IB), an initiation factor RRN3/TIF-IA, and a termination factor TTF-I. Additional proteins, e.g., topoisomerases I and IIa, sirtuin 7, PCAF, G9a, nuclear actin and myosin (NM1), Ku70/80, PCNA, TFIIH, CSB, and many others, were...


Acute Myeloblastic Leukemia rRNA Synthesis rDNA Transcription Upstream Binding Factor Nucleolar Stress 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.
This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.


  1. Bywater MJ et al (2012) Inhibition of RNA polymerase I as a therapeutic strategy to promote cancer-specific activation of p53. Cancer Cell 22:51–65PubMedCentralCrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  2. Drygin D et al (2010) The RNA polymerase I transcription machinery: an emerging target for the treatment of cancer. Annu Rev Pharmacol 50:131–156CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Drygin D et al (2013) Targeting the nucleolus for cancer-specific activation of p53. Drug Discov Today 19:259–265CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  4. Montanaro L et al (2008) Nucleolus, ribosomes, and cancer. Am J Pathol 173:301–310PubMedCentralCrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  5. Ruggero D, Pandolfi PP (2003) Does the ribosome translate cancer? Nat Rev Cancer 3:179–192CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Pimera, Inc.San DiegoUSA
  2. 2.Department, Cancer Biology and TherapeuticsJohn Curtin School of Medical Research, ANU College of Medicine, Biology and the EnvironmentCanberraAustralia