qPCR utilization for the study of RNA Polymerase I transcription

William John Andrews

Research output: Contribution to conferencePoster


Ribosome biogenesis is a fundamental cellular process tightly linked to cell growth and proliferation, which requires the coordinated transcription of all three nuclear polymerases. Synthesis of ribosomal RNA (rRNA) by RNA polymerase I (Pol I) has been suggested as a key regulator of ribosome biogenesis, and there is a strong link between transcription of ribosomal RNAs and cellular proliferation. This makes Pol I transcription a valid and attractive target for anticancer therapy. At the moment however there are only a small number of compounds that act as specific inhibitors of Pol I transcription and this makes it very difficult for the development of drugs which would target rRNA transcription and consequently ribosome biogenesis. Therefore, to aid in the development of new inhibitors of Pol I, high-throughput methods to monitor and detect changes in Pol I activity need to be developed. This current study aimed to address the question of whether or not quantitative PCR (qPCR) could be used to detect changes in rRNA production in cells under different conditions that repress Pol I activity i.e. serum starvation and drug treatment. Our results have shown that using primers and a hydrolysis probe designed for the 5’ETS region of the pre-rRNA molecule, rRNA levels in both treated and untreated cells could be determined by using qPCR.
Amplification resulted in formation of a single product and S1 nuclease protection assay confirmed the down-regulation of Pol I transcription. Following serum-starvation and drug treatment there was a dramatic reduction in the amount of 5’ETS transcript quantitated by both Sybr Green chemistry and the use of a fluorescently labelled hydrolysis probe. The optimization of the qPCR strategy will be discussed.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusUnpublished - 2010
EventBiochemical Society Irish Section Annual Meeting - Templepatrick, United Kingdom
Duration: 01 Nov 2010 → …


ConferenceBiochemical Society Irish Section Annual Meeting
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom
Period01/11/2010 → …


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