Association of the RENT complex with nontranscribed and coding regions of rDNA and a regional requirement for the replication fork block protein Fob1 in rDNA silencing.
Silencing within the yeast rDNA repeats inhibits hyperrecombination, represses transcription from foreign promoters, and extends replicative life span. rDNA silencing is mediated by a Sir2-containing complex called RENT (regulator of nucleolar silencing and telophase exit). We show that the Net1 (also called Cfi1) and Sir2 subunits of RENT localize primarily to two distinct regions within rDNA: in one of the nontranscribed spacers (NTS1) and around the Pol I promoter, extending into the 35S rRNA coding region. Binding to NTS1 overlaps the recombination hotspot and replication fork barrier elements, which have been shown previously to require the Fob1 protein for their activities. In cells lacking Fob1, silencing and the association of RENT subunits are abolished specifically at NTS1, while silencing and association at the Pol I promoter region are unaffected or increased. We find that Net1 and Sir2 are physically associated with Fob1 and subunits of RNA polymerase I. Together with the localization data, these results suggest the existence of two distinct modes for the recruitment of the RENT complex to rDNA and reveal a role for Fob1 in rDNA silencing and in the recruitment of the RENT complex. Furthermore, the Fob1-dependent associations of Net1 and Sir2 with the recombination hotspot region strongly suggest that Sir2 acts directly at this region to carry out its inhibitory effect on rDNA recombination and accelerated aging.