The zinc finger protein, basonuclin, is a putative rDNA transcription factor with highly restricted tissue distribution. Basonuclin is abundantly expressed in keratinocytes of the basal layer of the epidermis, the outer sheath of hair follicles and in the germ cells of the testis and ovary. In the epidermis, basonuclin, which is mainly localized to the cytoplasm, translocates to basal cell nuclei during different stages of keratinocyte growth. Basonuclin may enhance rRNA synthesis by elevating transcription from an rDNA promoter and inhibiting RNA polymerase I transcription through its zinc finger domain. Therefore, basonuclin may be a cell-type-specific transcription factor for rDNA transcription.
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