Direct regulation of RNA polymerase III transcription by RB, p53 and c-Myc.

Zoë A. Felton-Edkins, Niall S. Kenneth, Timothy R.P. Brown, Nicole L. Daly, Natividad Gomez-Roman, Carla Grandori, Robert N. Eisenman, Robert J. White

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83 Citations (Scopus)


The synthesis of tRNA and 5S rRNA by RNA polymerase (pol) III is cell cycle regulated in higher organisms. Overexpression of pol III products is a general feature of transformed cells. These observations may be explained by the fact that a pol III-specific transcription factor, TFIIIB, is strongly regulated by the tumor suppressors RB and p53, as well as the proto-oncogene product c-Myc. RB and p53 repress TFIIIB, but this restraint can be lost in tumors through a variety of mechanisms. In contrast, c-Myc binds and activates TFIIIB, causing potent induction of pol III transcription. Using chromatin immunoprecipitation and RNA interference, we show that c-Myc interacts with tRNA and 5S rRNA genes in transformed cervical cells, stimulating their expression. Availability of pol III products may be an important determinant of a cell's capacity to grow. The ability to regulate pol III output may therefore be integral to the growth control functions of RB, p53 and c-Myc.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)180-183
Number of pages4
JournalCell cycle (Georgetown, Tex.)
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 29 Apr 2003


  • tRNA
  • 5S rRNA

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