Interactions between DSIF (DRB sensitivity inducing factor), NELF (negative elongation factor), and the Drosophila RNA polymerase II transcription elongation complex.
ABSTRACT: Negative elongation factor (NELF) and 5,6-dichloro-1-beta-D-ribofuranosylbenzimidazole sensitivity-inducing factor (DSIF) are involved in pausing RNA Polymerase II (Pol II) in the promoter-proximal region of the hsp70 gene in Drosophila, before heat shock induction. Such blocks in elongation are widespread in the Drosophila genome. However, the mechanism by which DSIF and NELF participate in setting up the paused Pol II remains unclear. We analyzed the interactions among DSIF, NELF, and a reconstituted Drosophila Pol II elongation complex to gain insight into the mechanism of pausing. Our results show that DSIF and NELF require a nascent transcript longer than 18 nt to stably associate with the Pol II elongation complex. Protein-RNA cross-linking reveals that Spt5, the largest subunit of DSIF, contacts the nascent RNA as the RNA emerges from the elongation complex. Taken together, these results provide a possible model by which DSIF binds the elongation complex via association with the nascent transcript and subsequently recruits NELF. Although DSIF and NELF were both required for inhibition of transcription, we did not detect a NELF-RNA contact when the nascent transcript was between 22 and 31 nt long, which encompasses the region where promoter-proximal pausing occurs on many genes in Drosophila. This raises the possibility that RNA binding by NELF is not necessary in promoter-proximal pausing.
Project description:DRB sensitivity-inducing factor (DSIF or Spt4/5) is a conserved transcription elongation factor that both inhibits and stimulates transcription elongation in metazoans. In Drosophila and vertebrates, DSIF together with negative elongation factor (NELF) associates with RNA polymerase II during early elongation and causes RNA polymerase II to pause in the promoter-proximal region of genes. The mechanism of how DSIF establishes pausing is not known. We constructed Spt5 mutant forms of DSIF and tested their capacity to restore promoter-proximal pausing to DSIF-depleted Drosophila nuclear extracts. The C-terminal repeat region of Spt5, which has been implicated in both inhibition and stimulation of elongation, is dispensable for promoter-proximal pausing. A region encompassing KOW4 and KOW5 of Spt5 is essential for pausing, and mutations in KOW5 specifically shift the location of the pause. RNA cross-linking analysis reveals that KOW5 directly contacts the nascent transcript, and deletion of KOW5 disrupts this interaction. Our results suggest that KOW5 is involved in promoter-proximal pausing through contact with the nascent RNA.
Project description:Metazoan gene regulation often involves the pausing of RNA polymerase II (Pol II) in the promoter-proximal region. Paused Pol II is stabilized by the protein complexes DRB sensitivity-inducing factor (DSIF) and negative elongation factor (NELF). Here we report the cryo-electron microscopy structure of a paused transcription elongation complex containing Sus scrofa Pol II and Homo sapiens DSIF and NELF at 3.2 Å resolution. The structure reveals a tilted DNA-RNA hybrid that impairs binding of the nucleoside triphosphate substrate. NELF binds the polymerase funnel, bridges two mobile polymerase modules, and contacts the trigger loop, thereby restraining Pol II mobility that is required for pause release. NELF prevents binding of the anti-pausing transcription elongation factor IIS (TFIIS). Additionally, NELF possesses two flexible 'tentacles' that can contact DSIF and exiting RNA. These results define the paused state of Pol II and provide the molecular basis for understanding the function of NELF during promoter-proximal gene regulation.
Project description:The Cdk7 subunit of TFIIH phosphorylates RNA polymerase II (Pol II) during initiation, and, while recent studies show that inhibition of human Cdk7 negatively influences transcription, the mechanisms involved are unclear. Using in vitro transcription with nuclear extract, we demonstrate that THZ1, a covalent Cdk7 inhibitor, causes defects in Pol II phosphorylation, co-transcriptional capping, promoter proximal pausing, and productive elongation. THZ1 does not affect initiation but blocks essentially all Pol II large subunit C-terminal domain (CTD) phosphorylation. We found that guanylylation of nascent RNAs is length dependent and modulated by a THZ1-sensitive factor present in nuclear extract. THZ1 impacts pausing through a capping-independent block of DSIF and NELF loading. The P-TEFb-dependent transition into productive elongation was also inhibited by THZ1, likely due to loss of DSIF. Capping and pausing were also reduced in THZ1-treated cells. Our results provide mechanistic insights into THZ1 action and how Cdk7 broadly influences transcription and capping.
Project description:The association of DSIF and NELF with initiated RNA Polymerase II (Pol II) is the general mechanism for inducing promoter-proximal pausing of Pol II. However, it remains largely unclear how the paused Pol II is released in response to stimulation. Here, we show that the release of the paused Pol II is cooperatively regulated by multiple P-TEFbs which are recruited by bromodomain-containing protein Brd4 and super elongation complex (SEC) via different recruitment mechanisms. Upon stimulation, Brd4 recruits P-TEFb to Spt5/DSIF via a recruitment pathway consisting of Med1, Med23 and Tat-SF1, whereas SEC recruits P-TEFb to NELF-A and NELF-E via Paf1c and Med26, respectively. P-TEFb-mediated phosphorylation of Spt5, NELF-A and NELF-E results in the dissociation of NELF from Pol II, thereby transiting transcription from pausing to elongation. Additionally, we demonstrate that P-TEFb-mediated Ser2 phosphorylation of Pol II is dispensable for pause release. Therefore, our studies reveal a co-regulatory mechanism of Brd4 and SEC in modulating the transcriptional pause release by recruiting multiple P-TEFbs via a Mediator- and Paf1c-coordinated recruitment network.
Project description:Control of gene expression is one of the most complex yet continuous physiological processes impacting cellular homeostasis. RNA polymerase II (Pol II) transcription is tightly regulated at promoter-proximal regions by intricate dynamic processes including Pol II pausing, release into elongation and premature termination. Pol II pausing is a phenomenon where Pol II complex pauses within 30-60 nucleotides after initiating the transcription. Negative elongation factor (NELF) and DRB sensitivity inducing factor (DSIF) contribute in the establishment of Pol II pausing, and positive transcription elongation factor b releases (P-TEFb) paused complex after phosphorylating DSIF that leads to dissociation of NELF. Pol II pausing is observed in most expressed genes across the metazoan. The precise role of Pol II pausing is not well understood; however, it's required for integration of signals for gene regulation. In the present study, we investigated the role of phosphatase and tensin homolog (PTEN) in genome-wide transcriptional regulation using PTEN overexpression and PTEN knock-down models. Here we identify that PTEN alters the expression of hundreds of genes, and its restoration establishes genome-wide Pol II promoter-proximal pausing in PTEN null cells. Furthermore, PTEN re-distributes Pol II occupancy across the genome and possibly impacts Pol II pause duration, release and elongation rate in order to enable precise gene regulation at the genome-wide scale. Our observations demonstrate an imperative role of PTEN in global transcriptional regulation that will provide a new direction to understand PTEN-associated pathologies and its management.
Project description:Human 5,6-dichloro-1-beta-D-ribofuranosylbenzimidazole sensitivity-inducing factor (DSIF) and negative elongation factor (NELF) negatively regulate transcription elongation by RNA polymerase II (RNAPII) in vitro. However, the physiological roles of this negative regulation are not well understood. Here, by using a number of approaches to identify protein-DNA interactions in vivo, we show that DSIF- and NELF-mediated transcriptional pausing has a dual function in regulating immediate-early expression of the human junB gene. Before induction by interleukin-6, RNAPII, DSIF, and NELF accumulate in the promoter-proximal region of junB, mainly at around position +50 from the transcription initiation site. After induction, the association of these proteins with the promoter-proximal region continues whereas RNAPII and DSIF are also found in the downstream regions. Depletion of a subunit of NELF by RNA interference enhances the junB mRNA level both before and after induction, indicating that DSIF- and NELF-mediated pausing contributes to the negative regulation of junB expression, not only by inducing RNAPII pausing before induction but also by attenuating transcription after induction. These regulatory mechanisms appear to be conserved in other immediate-early genes as well.
Project description:Regulation of RNA polymerase II (Pol II) elongation is a critical step in gene regulation. Here, we report that U1 snRNP recognition and transcription pausing at stable nucleosomes are linked through premature polyadenylation signal (PAS) termination. By generating RNA exosome conditional deletion mouse embryonic stem cells, we identified a large class of polyadenylated short transcripts in the sense direction destabilized by the RNA exosome. These PAS termination events are enriched at the first few stable nucleosomes flanking CpG islands and suppressed by U1 snRNP. Thus, promoter-proximal Pol II pausing consists of two processes: TSS-proximal and +1 stable nucleosome pausing, with PAS termination coinciding with the latter. While pausing factors NELF/DSIF only function in the former step, flavopiridol-sensitive mechanism(s) and Myc modulate both steps. We propose that premature PAS termination near the nucleosome-associated pause site represents a common transcriptional elongation checkpoint regulated by U1 snRNP recognition, nucleosome stability, and Myc activity.
Project description:The four-subunit Negative Elongation Factor (NELF) is a major regulator of RNA Polymerase II (Pol II) pausing. The subunit NELF-E contains a conserved RNA Recognition Motif (RRM) and is proposed to facilitate Poll II pausing through its association with nascent transcribed RNA. However, conflicting ideas have emerged for the function of its RNA binding activity. Here, we use in vitro selection strategies and quantitative biochemistry to identify and characterize the consensus NELF-E binding element (NBE) that is required for sequence specific RNA recognition (NBE: CUGAGGA(U) for Drosophila). An NBE-like element is present within the loop region of the transactivation-response element (TAR) of HIV-1 RNA, a known regulatory target of human NELF-E. The NBE is required for high affinity binding, as opposed to the lower stem of TAR, as previously claimed. We also identify a non-conserved region within the RRM that contributes to the RNA recognition of Drosophila NELF-E. To understand the broader functional relevance of NBEs, we analyzed promoter-proximal regions genome-wide in Drosophila and show that the NBE is enriched +20 to +30 nucleotides downstream of the transcription start site. Consistent with the role of NELF in pausing, we observe a significant increase in NBEs among paused genes compared to non-paused genes. In addition to these observations, SELEX with nuclear run-on RNA enrich for NBE-like sequences. Together, these results describe the RNA binding behavior of NELF-E and supports a biological role for NELF-E in promoter-proximal pausing of both HIV-1 and cellular genes.
Project description:Formation of productive transcription complexes after promoter escape by RNA polymerase II is a major event in eukaryotic gene regulation. Both negative and positive factors control this step. The principal negative elongation factor (NELF) contains four polypeptides and requires for activity the two-polypeptide 5,6-dichloro-1-beta-D-ribobenzimidazole-sensitivity inducing factor (DSIF). DSIF/NELF inhibits early transcript elongation until it is counteracted by the positive elongation factor P-TEFb. We report a previously undescribed activity of DSIF/NELF, namely inhibition of the transcript cleavage factor TFIIS. These two activities of DSIF/NELF appear to be mechanistically distinct. Inhibition of nucleotide addition requires > or = 18 nt of nascent RNA, whereas inhibition of TFIIS occurs at all transcript lengths. Because TFIIS promotes escape from promoter-proximal pauses by stimulating cleavage of back-tracked nascent RNA, TFIIS inhibition may help DSIF/NELF negatively regulate productive transcription.
Project description:Transcriptional regulation in eukaryotes occurs at promoter-proximal regions wherein transcriptionally engaged RNA polymerase II (Pol II) pauses before proceeding toward productive elongation. The role of chromatin in pausing remains poorly understood. Here, we demonstrate that the histone deacetylase SIRT6 binds to Pol II and prevents the release of the negative elongation factor (NELF), thus stabilizing Pol II promoter-proximal pausing. Genetic depletion of SIRT6 or its chromatin deficiency upon glucose deprivation causes intragenic enrichment of acetylated histone H3 at lysines 9 (H3K9ac) and 56 (H3K56ac), activation of cyclin-dependent kinase 9 (CDK9)-that phosphorylates NELF and the carboxyl terminal domain of Pol II-and enrichment of the positive transcription elongation factors MYC, BRD4, PAF1, and the super elongation factors AFF4 and ELL2. These events lead to increased expression of genes involved in metabolism, protein synthesis, and embryonic development. Our results identified SIRT6 as a Pol II promoter-proximal pausing-dedicated histone deacetylase.