53 Scopus citations


In this report, we employed a lentiviral RNA interference screen to discover nucleolar DEAD/DEAH-box helicases involved in RNA polymerase I (Pol I)-mediated transcriptional activity. Our screen identified DHX33 as an important modulator of 47S rRNA transcription. We show that DHX33 is a cell cycle-regulated nucleolar protein that associates with ribosomal DNA (rDNA) loci, where it interacts with the RNA Pol I transcription factor upstream binding factor (UBF). DHX33 knockdown decreased the association of Pol I with rDNA and caused a dramatic decrease in levels of rRNA synthesis. Wild-type DHX33 overexpression, but not a DNA binding-defective mutant, enhanced 47S rRNA synthesis by promoting the association of RNA polymerase I with rDNA loci. In addition, an NTPase-defective DHX33 mutant (K94R) acted as a dominant negative mutant, inhibiting endogenous rRNA synthesis. Moreover, DHX33 deficiency in primary human fibroblasts triggered a nucleolar p53 stress response, resulting in an attenuation of proliferation. Thus, we show the mechanistic importance of DHX33 in rRNA transcription and proliferation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4676-4691
Number of pages16
JournalMolecular and cellular biology
Issue number23
StatePublished - Dec 2011


Dive into the research topics of 'Identification of DHX33 as a mediator of rRNA synthesis and cell growth'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this