Parcs/Gpn3 is required for the nuclear accumulation of RNA polymerase II

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Parcs/Gpn3 is a putative GTPase that is conserved in eukaryotic cells from yeast to humans, suggesting that it plays a fundamental, but still unknown, cellular function. Suppression of Parcs/Gpn3 expression by RNAi completely blocked cell proliferation in MCF-12A cells and other mammary epithelial cell lines. Unexpectedly, Parcs/Gpn3 knockdown had a more modest effect in the proliferation of the tumorigenic MDA-MB-231 and SK-BR3 cells. RNA polymerase II (RNAP II) co-immunoprecipitated with Parcs/Gpn3. Parcs/Gpn3 depletion caused a reduction in overall RNA synthesis in MCF-12A cells but not in MDA-MB-231 cells, demonstrating a role for Parcs/Gpn3 in transcription, and pointing to a defect in RNA synthesis by RNAP II as the possible cause of halted proliferation. The absence of Parcs/Gpn3 in MCF-12A cells caused a dramatic change in the sub-cellular localization of Rpb1, the largest subunit of RNAP II. As expected, Rpb1 was present only in the nucleus of MCF-12A control cells, whereas in Parcs/Gpn3-depleted MCF-12A cells, Rpb1 was detected exclusively in the cytoplasm. This effect was specific, as histones remained nuclear independently of Parcs/Gpn3. Rpb1 protein levels were markedly increased in Parcs/Gpn3-depleted MCF-12A cells. Interestingly, Rpb1 distribution was only marginally affected after knocking-down Parcs/Gpn3 in MDA-MB-231 cells. In conclusion, we report here, for the first time, that Parcs/Gpn3 plays a critical role in the nuclear accumulation of RNAP II, and we propose that this function explains the relative importance of Parcs/Gpn3 in cell proliferation. Intriguingly, at least some tumorigenic mammary cells have evolved mechanisms that allow them to proliferate in a Parcs/Gpn3-independent manner. © 2011 Elsevier B.V.




Calera, M. R., Zamora-Ramos, C., Araiza-Villanueva, M. G., Moreno-Aguilar, C. A., Peña-Gómez, S. G., Castellanos-Terán, F., … Sánchez-Olea, R. (2011). Parcs/Gpn3 is required for the nuclear accumulation of RNA polymerase II. Biochimica et Biophysica Acta - Molecular Cell Research, 1813(10), 1708–1716.

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