Organismal benefits of transcription speed control at gene boundaries

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RNA polymerase II (RNAPII) transcription is crucial for gene expression. RNAPII density peaks at gene boundaries, associating these key regions for gene expression control with limited RNAPII movement. The connections between RNAPII transcription speed and gene regulation in multicellular organisms are poorly understood. Here, we directly modulate RNAPII transcription speed by point mutations in the second largest subunit of RNAPII in Arabidopsis thaliana. A RNAPII mutation predicted to decelerate transcription is inviable, while accelerating RNAPII transcription confers phenotypes resembling auto-immunity. Nascent transcription profiling revealed that RNAPII complexes with accelerated transcription clear stalling sites at both gene ends, resulting in read-through transcription. The accelerated transcription mutant NRPB2-Y732F exhibits increased association with 5' splice site (5'SS) intermediates and enhanced splicing efficiency. Our findings highlight potential advantages of RNAPII stalling through local reduction in transcription speed to optimize gene expression for the development of multicellular organisms.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere49315
JournalEMBO Reports
Issue number4
Number of pages16
Publication statusPublished - 2020

    Research areas

  • NET-seq, speed, splicing, stalling, transcription

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