RNA polymerase III, ageing and longevity

Kulaberoglu, Y., Malik, Y., Borland, G., Selman, C. , Alic, N. and Tullet, J. M.A. (2021) RNA polymerase III, ageing and longevity. Frontiers in Genetics, 12, 705122. (doi: 10.3389/fgene.2021.705122) (PMID:34295356) (PMCID:PMC8290157)

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Transcription in eukaryotic cells is performed by three RNA polymerases. RNA polymerase I synthesises most rRNAs, whilst RNA polymerase II transcribes all mRNAs and many non-coding RNAs. The largest of the three polymerases is RNA polymerase III (Pol III) which transcribes a variety of short non-coding RNAs including tRNAs and the 5S rRNA, in addition to other small RNAs such as snRNAs, snoRNAs, SINEs, 7SL RNA, Y RNA, and U6 spilceosomal RNA. Pol III-mediated transcription is highly dynamic and regulated in response to changes in cell growth, cell proliferation and stress. Pol III-generated transcripts are involved in a wide variety of cellular processes, including translation, genome and transcriptome regulation and RNA processing, with Pol III dys-regulation implicated in diseases including leukodystrophy, Alzheimer’s, Fragile X-syndrome and various cancers. More recently, Pol III was identified as an evolutionarily conserved determinant of organismal lifespan acting downstream of mTORC1. Pol III inhibition extends lifespan in yeast, worms and flies, and in worms and flies acts from the intestine and intestinal stem cells respectively to achieve this. Intriguingly, Pol III activation achieved through impairment of its master repressor, Maf1, has also been shown to promote longevity in model organisms, including mice. In this review we introduce the Pol III transcription apparatus and review the current understanding of RNA Pol III’s role in ageing and lifespan in different model organisms. We then discuss the potential of Pol III as a therapeutic target to improve age-related health in humans.

Item Type:Articles
Additional Information:The authors wish to acknowledge the support of the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) through grants BB/R014507/1 and BB/S 14357/1 to NA, BB/S014330/1 to CS, and BB/S014365/1 to JT.
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Selman, Professor Colin and Borland, Dr Gillian
Authors: Kulaberoglu, Y., Malik, Y., Borland, G., Selman, C., Alic, N., and Tullet, J. M.A.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > Institute of Biodiversity Animal Health and Comparative Medicine
College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > Institute of Infection Immunity and Inflammation
Journal Name:Frontiers in Genetics
Publisher:Frontiers Media
ISSN (Online):1664-8021
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2021 Kulaberoglu, Malik, Borland, Selman, Alic and Tullet
First Published:First published in Frontiers in Genetics 12: 705122
Publisher Policy:Reproduced under a Creative Commons License

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Project CodeAward NoProject NamePrincipal InvestigatorFunder's NameFunder RefLead Dept
305154Consolidating the role of RNA polymerase III in healthy ageing: from worms to flies to miceColin SelmanBiotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC)BB/S014330/1Institute of Biodiversity, Animal Health and Comparative Medicine