Identification of Regions in the Spt5 Subunit of DRB Sensitivity-inducing Factor (DSIF) That Are Involved in Promoter-proximal Pausing.
ABSTRACT: 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: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:The human transcription elongation factor DSIF is highly conserved throughout all kingdoms of life and plays multiple roles during transcription. DSIF is a heterodimer, consisting of Spt4 and Spt5 that interacts with RNA polymerase II (RNAP II). DSIF binds to the elongation complex and induces promoter-proximal pausing of RNAP II. Human Spt5 consists of a NusG N-terminal (NGN) domain motif, which is followed by several KOW domains. We determined the solution structures of the human Spt5 KOW4 and the C-terminal domain by nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy. In addition to the typical KOW fold, the solution structure of KOW4 revealed an N-terminal four-stranded ?-sheet, previously designated as the KOW3-KOW4 linker. In solution, the C-terminus of Spt5 consists of two ?-barrel folds typical for KOW domains, designated KOW6 and KOW7. We also analysed the nucleic acid and RNAP II binding properties of the KOW domains. KOW4 variants interacted with nucleic acids, preferentially single stranded RNA, whereas no nucleic acid binding could be detected for KOW6-7. Weak binding of KOW4 to the RNAP II stalk, which is comprised of Rpb4/7, was also detected, consistent with transient interactions between Spt5 and these RNAP II subunits.
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:Recent studies have found that promoter-proximal pausing occurs at most Pol2-regulated genes. DSIF and NELF function as negative elongation factors and promote Pol2 pausing. P-TEFb, whose enzymatic activity lies in the kinase Cdk9, positively regulates the transition into productive elongation by phosphorylating subunits in DSIF, NELF and Pol2. To gain insights into the interplay between these factors in regulating transcriptional pause release, we tested if knockdown of either pausing factor could bypass P-TEFb function. We find that P-TEFb function is still required for transcriptional elongation after DSIF or NELF knockdown. mES cells were infected with a shRNA hairpin to knockdown Spt5, Spt4, NelfE or control. The resulting cells were then treated with flavopiridol (1uM for 60 minutes). DNA was enriched by chromatin immunoprecipitation (ChIP) and analyzed by Solexa sequencing. A sample of whole cell extract was sequenced and used as the background to determine enrichment. ChIP was performed using an antibody against total RNA Pol2 (Rpb1 N-terminus, Santa Cruz sc-899).
Project description:Recent studies have found that promoter-proximal pausing occurs at most Pol2-regulated genes. DSIF and NELF function as negative elongation factors and promote Pol2 pausing. P-TEFb, whose enzymatic activity lies in the kinase Cdk9, positively regulates the transition into productive elongation by phosphorylating subunits in DSIF, NELF and Pol2. To gain insights into the interplay between these factors in regulating transcriptional pause release, we tested if knockdown of either pausing factor could bypass P-TEFb function. We find that P-TEFb function is still required for transcriptional elongation after DSIF or NELF knockdown. Overall design: mES cells were infected with a shRNA hairpin to knockdown Spt5, Spt4, NelfE or control. The resulting cells were then treated with flavopiridol (1uM for 60 minutes). DNA was enriched by chromatin immunoprecipitation (ChIP) and analyzed by Solexa sequencing. A sample of whole cell extract was sequenced and used as the background to determine enrichment. ChIP was performed using an antibody against total RNA Pol2 (Rpb1 N-terminus, Santa Cruz sc-899).
Project description:Promoter-proximal pausing by RNA polymerase II (Pol II) ensures gene-specific regulation and RNA quality control. Structural considerations suggested a requirement for initiation-factor eviction in elongation-factor engagement and pausing of transcription complexes. Here we show that selective inhibition of Cdk7--part of TFIIH--increases TFIIE retention, prevents DRB sensitivity-inducing factor (DSIF) recruitment and attenuates pausing in human cells. Pause release depends on Cdk9-cyclin T1 (P-TEFb); Cdk7 is also required for Cdk9-activating phosphorylation and Cdk9-dependent downstream events--Pol II C-terminal domain Ser2 phosphorylation and histone H2B ubiquitylation--in vivo. Cdk7 inhibition, moreover, impairs Pol II transcript 3'-end formation. Cdk7 thus acts through TFIIE and DSIF to establish, and through P-TEFb to relieve, barriers to elongation: incoherent feedforward that might create a window to recruit RNA-processing machinery. Therefore, cyclin-dependent kinases govern Pol II handoff from initiation to elongation factors and cotranscriptional RNA maturation.
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: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 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.