Reference: Martínez-Fernández V, et al. (2018) Rpb5 modulates the RNA polymerase II transition from initiation to elongation by influencing Spt5 association and backtracking. Biochim Biophys Acta 1861(1):1-13

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Abstract


Rpb5 is a subunit shared by the three eukaryotic RNA polymerases although its role in transcription remains unclear. It has been proposed that it makes contact with the promoter DNA and to participate in the coordination of the opening/closing of the RNA polymerase II DNA cleft. Here, we report the specific role of Rpb5 in the function of the yeast RNA polymerase II. The rpb5-P151T mutation specifically impairs transcription elongation by RNA polymerase II but does not influence the functions of RNA polymerases I or III. The comparison of RNA polymerase II ChIP and run-on signals indicates a higher tendency to backtrack by this mutant, in agreement with its lower elongation rate and its genetic interactions with dst1Δ mutant. This phenotype is particularly striking shortly after transcription initiation and is linked to differences in the phosphorylation state of the RNA polymerase II and reduced recruitment of Spt5 to transcribe chromatin, thus influencing its anti-backtracking activity. All together, our results reveal an important role of Rpb5 in the transition from initiation to elongation mediated by the RNA polymerase II, by modulating the Spt5 association, and the backtracking activity of the enzyme.

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Journal Article
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Martínez-Fernández V, Garrido-Godino AI, Mirón-García MC, Begley V, Fernández-Pévida A, de la Cruz J, Chávez S, Navarro F
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