CTCF regulates NELF, DSIF and P-TEFb recruitment during transcription.
ABSTRACT: CTCF is a versatile transcription factor with well-established roles in chromatin organization and insulator function. Recent findings also implicate CTCF in the control of elongation by RNA polymerase (RNAP) II. Here we show that CTCF knockdown abrogates RNAP II pausing at the early elongation checkpoint of c-myc by affecting recruitment of DRB-sensitivity-inducing factor (DSIF). CTCF knockdown also causes a termination defect on the U2 snRNA genes (U2), by affecting recruitment of negative elongation factor (NELF). In addition, CTCF is required for recruitment of positive elongation factor b (P-TEFb), which phosphorylates NELF, DSIF, and Ser2 of the RNAP II CTD to activate elongation of transcription of c-myc and recognition of the snRNA gene-specific 3' box RNA processing signal. These findings implicate CTCF in a complex network of protein:protein/protein:DNA interactions and assign a key role to CTCF in controlling RNAP II transcription through the elongation checkpoint of the protein-coding c-myc and the termination site of the non-coding U2, by regulating the recruitment and/or activity of key players in these processes.
Project description:The negative elongation factor NELF is a key component of an early elongation checkpoint generally located within 100 bp of the transcription start site of protein-coding genes. Negotiation of this checkpoint and conversion to productive elongation require phosphorylation of the carboxy-terminal domain of RNA polymerase II (pol II), NELF, and DRB sensitivity-inducing factor (DSIF) by positive transcription elongation factor b (P-TEFb). P-TEFb is dispensable for transcription of the noncoding U2 snRNA genes, suggesting that a NELF-dependent checkpoint is absent. However, we find that NELF at the end of the 800-bp U2 gene transcription unit and RNA interference-mediated knockdown of NELF causes a termination defect. NELF is also associated 800 bp downstream of the transcription start site of the beta-actin gene, where a "late" P-TEFb-dependent checkpoint occurs. Interestingly, both genes have an extended nucleosome-depleted region up to the NELF-dependent control point. In both cases, transcription through this region is P-TEFb independent, implicating chromatin in the formation of the terminator/checkpoint. Furthermore, CTCF colocalizes with NELF on the U2 and beta-actin genes, raising the possibility that it helps the positioning and/or function of the NELF-dependent control point on these genes.
Project description:Mediator is a coregulatory complex that regulates transcription of Pol II-dependent genes. Previously, we showed that human Mediator subunit MED26 plays a role in the recruitment of Super Elongation Complex (SEC) or Little Elongation Complex (LEC) to regulate the expression of certain genes. MED26 plays a role in recruiting SEC to protein-coding genes including c-myc and LEC to small nuclear RNA (snRNA) genes. However, how MED26 engages SEC or LEC to regulate distinct genes is unclear. Here, we provide evidence that MED26 recruits LEC to modulate transcription termination of non-polyadenylated transcripts including snRNAs and mRNAs encoding replication-dependent histone (RDH) at Cajal bodies. Our findings indicate that LEC recruited by MED26 promotes efficient transcription termination by Pol II through interaction with CBC-ARS2 and NELF/DSIF, and promotes 3' end processing by enhancing recruitment of Integrator or Heat Labile Factor to snRNA or RDH genes, respectively.
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: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: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: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: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:The multisubunit transcription elongation factor NELF (for negative elongation factor) acts together with DRB (5,6-dichloro-1-beta-D-ribofuranosylbenzimidazole) sensitivity-inducing factor (DSIF)/human Spt4-Spt5 to cause transcriptional pausing of RNA polymerase II (RNAPII). NELF activity is associated with five polypeptides, A to E. NELF-A has sequence similarity to hepatitis delta antigen (HDAg), the viral protein that binds to and activates RNAPII, whereas NELF-E is an RNA-binding protein whose RNA-binding activity is critical for NELF function. To understand the interactions of DSIF, NELF, and RNAPII at a molecular level, we identified the B, C, and D proteins of human NELF. NELF-B is identical to COBRA1, recently reported to associate with the product of breast cancer susceptibility gene BRCA1. NELF-C and NELF-D are highly related or identical to the protein called TH1, of unknown function. NELF-B and NELF-C or NELF-D are integral subunits that bring NELF-A and NELF-E together, and coexpression of these four proteins in insect cells resulted in the reconstitution of functionally active NELF. Detailed analyses using mutated recombinant complexes indicated that the small region of NELF-A with similarity to HDAg is critical for RNAPII binding and for transcriptional pausing. This study defines several important protein-protein interactions and opens the way for understanding the mechanism of DSIF- and NELF-induced transcriptional pausing.
Project description:Co-transcriptional pre-mRNA processing relies on reversible phosphorylation of the carboxyl-terminal domain (CTD) of Rpb1, the largest subunit of RNA polymerase II (RNAP II). In this study, we replaced in live cells the endogenous Rpb1 by S2A Rpb1, where the second serines (Ser2) in the CTD heptapeptide repeats were switched to alanines, to prevent phosphorylation. Although slower, S2A RNAP II was able to transcribe. However, it failed to recruit splicing components such as U2AF65 and U2 snRNA to transcription sites, although the recruitment of U1 snRNA was not affected. As a consequence, co-transcriptional splicing was impaired. Interestingly, the magnitude of the S2A RNAP II splicing defect was promoter dependent. In addition, S2A RNAP II showed an impaired recruitment of the cleavage factor PCF11 to pre-mRNA and a defect in 3'-end RNA cleavage. These results suggest that CTD Ser2 plays critical roles in co-transcriptional pre-mRNA maturation in vivo: It likely recruits U2AF65 to ensure an efficient co-transcriptional splicing and facilitates the recruitment of pre-mRNA 3'-end processing factors to enhance 3'-end cleavage.
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.