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      An Investigation of a Role for U2 snRNP Spliceosomal Components in Regulating Transcription

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      PLoS ONE

      Public Library of Science

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          Abstract

          There is mounting evidence to suggest that the synthesis of pre-mRNA transcripts and their subsequent splicing are coordinated events. Previous studies have implicated the mammalian spliceosomal U2 snRNP as having a novel role in stimulating transcriptional elongation in vitro through interactions with the elongation factors P-TEFb and Tat-SF1; however, the mechanism remains unknown [1]. These factors are conserved in Saccharomyces cerevisiae, a fact that suggests that a similar interaction may occur in yeast to stimulate transcriptional elongation in vivo. To address this possibility we have looked for evidence of a role for the yeast Tat-SF1 homolog, Cus2, and the U2 snRNA in regulating transcription. Specifically, we have performed a genetic analysis to look for functional interactions between Cus2 or U2 snRNA and the P-TEFb yeast homologs, the Bur1/2 and Ctk1/2/3 complexes. In addition, we have analyzed Cus2-deleted or -overexpressing cells and U2 snRNA mutant cells to determine if they show transcription-related phenotypes similar to those displayed by the P-TEFb homolog mutants. In no case have we been able to observe phenotypes consistent with a role for either spliceosomal factor in transcription elongation. Furthermore, we did not find evidence for physical interactions between the yeast U2 snRNP factors and the P-TEFb homologs. These results suggest that in vivo, S. cerevisiae do not exhibit functional or physical interactions similar to those exhibited by their mammalian counterparts in vitro. The significance of the difference between our in vivo findings and the previously published in vitro results remains unclear; however, we discuss the potential importance of other factors, including viral proteins, in mediating the mammalian interactions.

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          Most cited references 72

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          Cotranscriptional set2 methylation of histone H3 lysine 36 recruits a repressive Rpd3 complex.

          The yeast histone deacetylase Rpd3 can be recruited to promoters to repress transcription initiation. Biochemical, genetic, and gene-expression analyses show that Rpd3 exists in two distinct complexes. The smaller complex, Rpd3C(S), shares Sin3 and Ume1 with Rpd3C(L) but contains the unique subunits Rco1 and Eaf3. Rpd3C(S) mutants exhibit phenotypes remarkably similar to those of Set2, a histone methyltransferase associated with elongating RNA polymerase II. Chromatin immunoprecipitation and biochemical experiments indicate that the chromodomain of Eaf3 recruits Rpd3C(S) to nucleosomes methylated by Set2 on histone H3 lysine 36, leading to deacetylation of transcribed regions. This pathway apparently acts to negatively regulate transcription because deleting the genes for Set2 or Rpd3C(S) bypasses the requirement for the positive elongation factor Bur1/Bur2.
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            Progression through the RNA polymerase II CTD cycle.

            The C-terminal domain of RNA polymerase II's largest subunit undergoes dynamic phosphorylation during transcription, and the different phosphorylation patterns that predominate at each stage of transcription recruit the appropriate set of mRNA-processing and histone-modifying factors. Recent papers help to explain how the changes in CTD phosphorylation pattern are linked to the progression from initiation through elongation to termination.
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              Transcription elongation factor P-TEFb is required for HIV-1 tat transactivation in vitro.

              P-TEFb is a key regulator of the process controlling the processivity of RNA polymerase II and possesses a kinase activity that can phosphorylate the carboxy-terminal domain of the largest subunit of RNA polymerase II. Here we report the cloning of the small subunit of Drosophila P-TEFb and the finding that it encodes a Cdc2-related protein kinase. Sequence comparison suggests that a protein with 72% identity, PITALRE, could be the human homolog of the Drosophila protein. Functional homology was suggested by transcriptional analysis of an RNA polymerase II promoter with HeLa nuclear extract depleted of PITALRE. Because the depleted extract lost the ability to produce long DRB-sensitive transcripts and this loss was reversed by the addition of purified Drosophila P-TEFb, we propose that PITALRE is a component of human P-TEFb. In addition, we found that PITALRE associated with the activation domain of HIV-1 Tat, indicating that P-TEFb is a Tat-associated kinase (TAK). An in vitro transcription assay demonstrates that the effect of Tat on transcription elongation requires P-TEFb and suggests that the enhancement of transcriptional processivity by Tat is attributable to enhanced function of P-TEFb on the HIV-1 LTR.
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                Author and article information

                Contributors
                Role: Editor
                Journal
                PLoS One
                plos
                plosone
                PLoS ONE
                Public Library of Science (San Francisco, USA )
                1932-6203
                2011
                24 January 2011
                : 6
                : 1
                Affiliations
                Molecular Biology Section, Division of Biological Sciences, University of California San Diego, La Jolla, California, United States of America
                University of Edinburgh, United Kingdom
                Author notes

                Conceived and designed the experiments: TJ SM. Performed the experiments: SM TJ. Analyzed the data: SM TJ. Contributed reagents/materials/analysis tools: TJ. Wrote the paper: TJ SM.

                [¤]

                Current address: Department of Molecular and Cell Biology, University of California, Berkeley, California, United States of America

                PONE-D-10-04747
                10.1371/journal.pone.0016077
                3025917
                21283673
                McKay, Johnson. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
                Counts
                Pages: 11
                Categories
                Research Article
                Biology
                Biochemistry
                Nucleic Acids
                RNA
                RNA processing
                Genetics
                Gene Expression
                DNA transcription
                RNA processing
                Gene Splicing
                Model Organisms
                Yeast and Fungal Models
                Saccharomyces Cerevisiae
                Molecular Cell Biology
                Gene Expression
                DNA transcription
                RNA processing
                Nucleic Acids
                RNA
                RNA processing

                Uncategorized

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