Regulation of BLM nucleolar localization

Larissa Tangeman, Michael A. McIlhatton, Patrick Grierson, Joanna Groden, Samir Acharya

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Defects in coordinated ribosomal RNA (rRNA) transcription in the nucleolus cause cellular and organismal growth deficiencies. Bloom’s syndrome, an autosomal recessive human disorder caused by mutated recQ-like helicase BLM, presents with growth defects suggestive of underlying defects in rRNA transcription. Our previous studies showed that BLM facilitates rRNA transcription and interacts with RNA polymerase I and topoisomerase I (TOP1) in the nucleolus. The mechanisms regulating localization of BLM to the nucleolus are unknown. In this study, we identify the TOP1-interaction region of BLM by co-immunoprecipitation of in vitro transcribed and translated BLM segments and show that this region includes the highly conserved nuclear localization sequence (NLS) of BLM. Biochemical and nucleolar co-localization studies using site-specific mutants show that two serines within the NLS (S1342 and S1345) are critical for nucleolar localization of BLM but do not affect the functional interaction of BLM with TOP1. Mutagenesis of both serines to aspartic acid (phospho-mimetic), but not alanine (phospho-dead), results in approximately 80% reduction in nucleolar localization of BLM while retaining the biochemical functions and nuclear localization of BLM. Our studies suggest a role for this region in regulating nucleolar localization of BLM via modification of the two serines within the NLS.

Original languageEnglish
Article number69
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 21 2016


  • BLM
  • Bloom’s syndrome
  • Growth defects
  • Nucleolar localization
  • RRNA transcription
  • Topoisomerase I


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