Mutation of a Nopp140 gene dao-5 alters rDNA transcription and increases germ cell apoptosis in C. elegans

C. C. Lee, Y. T. Tsai, C. W. Kao, L. W. Lee, H. J. Lai, T. H. Ma, Y. S. Chang, N. H. Yeh, S. J. Lo*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal Article peer-review

17 Scopus citations


Human diseases of impaired ribosome biogenesis resulting from disruption of rRNA biosynthesis or loss of ribosomal components are collectively described as 'ribosomopathies'. Treacher Collins syndrome (TCS), a representative human ribosomopathy with craniofacial abnormalities, is attributed to mutations in the tcof1 gene that has a homologous gene called nopp140. Previous studies demonstrated that the dao-5 (dauer and aged animal overexpression gene 5) of Caenorhabditis elegans is a member of nopp140 gene family and plays a role in nucleogenesis in the early embryo. Here, we established a C. elegans model for studying Nopp140-associated ribosomopathy. A null dao-5 mutant ok542 with a semi-infertile phenotype showed a delay in gonadogenesis, as well as a higher incidence of germline apoptosis. These phenotypes in dao-5(ok542) are likely resulted from inefficient rDNA transcription that was observed by run-on analyses and chromatin immunoprecipitation (ChIP) assays measuring the RNA Pol I occupancy on the rDNA promoter. ChIP assays further showed that the modifications of acetylated histone 4 (H4Ac) and dimethylation at the lysine 9 of histone 3 (H3K9me2) around the rDNA promoter were altered in dao-5 mutants compared with the N2 wild type. In addition, activated CEP-1 (a C. elegans p53 homolog) activity was also linked to the loss of DAO-5 in terms of the transcriptional upregulation of two CEP-1 downstream effectors, EGL-1 and CED-13. We propose that the dao-5 mutant of C. elegans can be a valuable model for studying human Nopp140-associated ribosomopathy at the cellular and molecular levels.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere1158
JournalCell Death and Disease
Issue number4
StatePublished - 04 2014


  • Evolution
  • Nopp140
  • Nucleolus
  • RDNA
  • Ribosomopathy


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