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Protein arginine methyltransferase 3 fine-tunes the assembly/disassembly of pre-ribosomes to repress nucleolar stress by interacting with RPS2B in arabidopsis.


Ribosome biogenesis, which takes place mainly in the nucleolus, involves coordinated expression of pre-ribosomal RNAs (pre-rRNAs) and ribosomal proteins, pre-rRNA processing, and subunit assembly with the aid of numerous assembly factors. Our previous study showed that the Arabidopsis thaliana protein arginine methyltransferase AtPRMT3 regulates pre-rRNA processing; however, the underlying molecular mechanism remains unknown. Here, we report that AtPRMT3 interacts with Ribosomal Protein S2 (RPS2), facilitating processing of the 90S/Small Subunit (SSU) processome and repressing nucleolar stress. We isolated an intragenic suppressor of atprmt3-2, which rescues the developmental defects of atprmt3-2 while produces a putative truncated AtPRMT3 protein bearing the entire N-terminus but lacking an intact enzymatic activity domain We further identified RPS2 as an interacting partner of AtPRMT3, and found that loss-of-function rps2a2b mutants were phenotypically reminiscent of atprmt3, showing pleiotropic developmental defects and aberrant pre-rRNA processing. RPS2B binds directly to pre-rRNAs in the nucleus, and such binding is enhanced in atprmt3-2. Consistently, multiple components of the 90S/SSU processome were more enriched by RPS2B in atprmt3-2, which accounts for early pre-rRNA processing defects and results in nucleolar stress. Collectively, our study uncovered a novel mechanism by which AtPRMT3 cooperates with RPS2B to facilitate the dynamic assembly/disassembly of the 90S/SSU processome during ribosome biogenesis and repress nucleolar stress.

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