Identification and characterization of a novel ubiquitous nucleolar protein ‘NARR’ encoded by a gene overlapping the rab34 oncogene

Nucl. Acids Res., 2011, doi: 10.1093/nar/gkr273, published on 17.05.2011
Nucl. Acids Res., online article
There are only few reports on protein products originating from overlapping mammalian genes even though computational predictions suggest that an appreciable fraction of mammalian genes could potentially overlap. Mass spectrometry-based proteomics has now acquired the tools to probe proteins in an unbiased manner, providing direct evidence of the output of the genomic and gene expression machinery. In particular, proteomics can refine gene predictions and discover novel geneprocessing events and gene arrangements. Here, we report the mass spectrometric discovery and biochemical validation of the novel protein encoded by a gene overlapping rab34 oncogene. The novel protein is highly conserved in mammals. In humans, it contains 13 distinct Nine-Amino acid Residue-Repeats (NARR) with the consensus sequence PRVIV(S/T)PR in which the serine or threonine residues are phosphorylated during M-phase. NARR is ubiquitously expressed and resides in nucleoli where it colocalizes with ribosomal DNA (rDNA) gene clusters. Its distribution only partially overlaps with upstream binding factor, one of the main regulators of RNA Polymerase I activity, and is entirely uncoupled from it in mitotic cells and upon inhibition of transcription. NARR only partially colocalizes with fibrillarin, the pre-ribosomal RNA-processing protein, positioning NARR in a separate niche within the rDNA cluster.

TU München
Helmholtz München
MPI of Neurobiology
MPI of Biochemistry