Born to run: Control of transcription elongation by RNA polymerase II

Fei Xavier Chen, Edwin Smith, Ali Shilatifard*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

59 Scopus citations

Abstract

The dynamic regulation of transcription elongation by RNA polymerase II (Pol II) is an integral part of the implementation of gene expression programmes during development. In most metazoans, the majority of transcribed genes exhibit transient pausing of Pol II at promoter-proximal regions, and the release of Pol II into gene bodies is controlled by many regulatory factors that respond to environmental and developmental cues. Misregulation of the elongation stage of transcription is implicated in cancer and other human diseases, suggesting that mechanistic understanding of transcription elongation control is therapeutically relevant. In this Review, we discuss the features, establishment and maintenance of Pol II pausing, the transition into productive elongation, the control of transcription elongation by enhancers and by factors of other cellular processes, such as topoisomerases and poly(ADP-ribose) polymerases (PARPs), and the potential of therapeutic targeting of the elongation stage of transcription by Pol II.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)464-478
Number of pages15
JournalNature Reviews Molecular Cell Biology
Volume19
Issue number7
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 1 2018

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology

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