Roles of RNase P and Its Subunits
Recent studies show that nuclear RNase P is linked to chromatin structure and function. Thus, variants of this ribonucleoprotein (RNP) complex bind to chromatin of small noncoding RNA genes; integrate into initiation complexes of RNA polymerase (Pol) III; repress histone H3.3 nucleosome deposition; control tRNA and PIWI-interacting RNA (piRNA) gene clusters for genome defense; and respond to Werner syndrome helicase (WRN)-related replication stress and DNA double-strand breaks (DSBs). Likewise, the related RNase MRP and RMRP-TERT (telomerase reverse transcriptase) are implicated in RNA-dependent RNA polymerization for chromatin silencing, whereas the telomerase carries out RNA-dependent DNA polymerization for telomere lengthening. Remarkably, the four RNPs share several protein subunits, including two Alba-like chromatin proteins that possess DEAD-like and ATPase motifs found in chromatin modifiers and remodelers. Based on available data, RNase P and related RNPs act in transition processes of DNA to RNA and vice versa and connect these processes to genome preservation, including replication, DNA repair, and chromatin remodeling.
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