Cyclosporin A inhibits rDNA transcription in lymphosarcoma P1798 cells

P. B. Mahajan, E. A. Thompson

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30 Scopus citations


Effects of cyclosporin A (CsA) on rRNA synthesis in vivo and in vitro were studied using lymphosarcoma P1798 in culture. Pulse labeling with [3H]uridine indicated that treatment of P1798 cells with 1 μg/ml of CsA for 24-h reduced rRNA levels by 50-60%, whereas rRNA levels of cells rescued from CsA and grown for 24 h were similar to those of controls. Transcription experiments using nuclei from control, treated, and rescued cells indicated that the reduction in rRNA synthesis in treated cells was due to reversible inhibition of transcription of rDNA. Transcription studies in vitro indicated that S100 extracts from CsA-treated cells were unable to carry out faithful transcription of cloned mouse rDNA, even though RNA polymerase I levels of control and treated cell extracts were similar. Mixing experiments indicated that the inability of the CsA-treated cell extract to transcribe cloned rDNA in vitro was not due to the presence of inhibitor(s) or nuclease(s) in such extracts. Supplementation of CsA-treated cell extract with partially or highly purified preparations of a trancription initiation factor for RNA polymerase I, obtained from control cell extracts, conferred transcriptional ability on the CsA-treated cell extract. Extracts from cells treated with cyclosporin H, an inactive analogue of CsA, faithfully transcribed rDNA, indicating the specificity of CsA action. These data indicate that CsA-treated cells lack the ability to initiate rDNA transcription in vivo and in vitro, due to specific, reversible reduction in the amount or activity of transcription factor IC. Significance of these results in understanding the mechanisms of the lymphostatic activity of CsA is discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)16150-16156
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Issue number33
StatePublished - 1987

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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