Leaving a mark: The many footprints of the elongating RNA polymerase II

Joel C. Eissenberg, Ali Shilatifard*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

54 Scopus citations


The elongation phase of transcription by RNA polymerase II involves a complex choreography of events besides the polymerization of RNA. In addition to coordinating the processing of the nascent transcript, elongating RNA polymerase II recruits histone methyltransferases to methylate lysines 4 and 36 of histone H3 in nucleosomes in the body of actively transcribed genes. Methylation at these sites is genetically implicated in marking actively transcribed genes. Recent studies link transcriptional elongation by RNA polymerase II to H3K9 methylation and the recruitment of the HP1 family protein HP1γ. These findings expand the role for RNA polymerase II elongation in targeting chromatin modifications to include a histone methyl mark more commonly associated with gene silencing.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)184-190
Number of pages7
JournalCurrent Opinion in Genetics and Development
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 2006

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Genetics
  • Developmental Biology


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