Epigenetics Podcast
Chromatin Structure and Dynamics at Ribosomal RNA Genes (Tom Moss)

Chromatin Structure and Dynamics at Ribosomal RNA Genes (Tom Moss)

In this episode of the Epigenetics Podcast, we caught up with Professor Tom Moss from Université Laval in Québec City, Canada to talk about his work on the chromatin structure and dynamics at ribosomal RNA genes.

Dr. Tom Moss has been a member of the Department of Molecular Biology, Medical Biochemistry, and Pathology at the Laval University School of Medicine since he was recruited from the University of Portsmouth in the United Kingdom in 1986.

Since then he focused on the ribosomal transcription factor Upstream Binding Factor (UBF) and how it regulates the chromatin structure at ribosomal RNA genes (rDNA). UBF binds to the rDNA as a dimer where it leads to six in-phase bends and induces the formation of the ribosomal enhanceosome. This enhanceosome is required for the initial step in formation of an RNA polymerase I initiation complex, and therefore plays an important role in regulating the expression of ribosomal RNA genes.

In this Interview, we discuss the function of UBF on the rDNA, how UBF impacts the chromatin landscape at rRNA genes, the role of DNA methylation in this process, and how UBF influences the structure of the nucleolus.


D. Bachvarov, T. Moss (1991) The RNA polymerase I transcription factor xUBF contains 5 tandemly repeated HMG homology boxes (Nucleic Acids Research) DOI: 10.1093/nar/19.9.2331

V. Y. Stefanovsky, D. P. Bazett-Jones, … T. Moss (1996) The DNA supercoiling architecture induced by the transcription factor xUBF requires three of its five HMG-boxes (Nucleic Acids Research) DOI: 10.1093/nar/24.16.3208

V. Y. Stefanovsky, G. Pelletier, … T. Moss (2001) DNA looping in the RNA polymerase I enhancesome is the result of non-cooperative in-phase bending by two UBF molecules (Nucleic Acids Research) DOI: 10.1093/nar/29.15.3241

Elaine Sanij, Jeannine Diesch, … Ross D. Hannan (2015) A novel role for the Pol I transcription factor UBTF in maintaining genome stability through the regulation of highly transcribed Pol II genes (Genome Research) DOI: 10.1101/gr.176115.114

Tom Moss, Jean-Clement Mars, … Marianne Sabourin-Felix (2019) The chromatin landscape of the ribosomal RNA genes in mouse and human (Chromosome Research) DOI: 10.1007/s10577-018-09603-9


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