The Nucleus and its Functional Domains

ID #2355

Can you explain the christmas tree diagram of rRNA processing? What are the branches and 'ornaments' showing again?


Each "Christmas tree" represents transcription of a 45S rRNA gene (trunk of the tree). The branches represent the rRNA transcripts. The ornaments are ribosomal proteins and processing proteins already associating with the rRNA. The region to the left of each Christmas tree if you look at the image displayed in class (which is more accurately described as the "top" of the tree) includes the promoter, and the bottom of the tree includes the terminator. Transcripts close to the terminator are shorter because they have already been processed by snoRNPs. Transcripts near the "top" of the tree closer to the promoter are shorter because they have not been transcribed as long. 

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