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Genetics. 2003 Dec;165(4):1687-702.

The ESS1 prolyl isomerase and its suppressor BYE1 interact with RNA pol II to inhibit transcription elongation in Saccharomyces cerevisiae.

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Molecular Genetics Program, Wadsworth Center, New York State Department of Health, Albany, NY 12208, USA.


Transcription by RNA polymerase II (pol II) requires the ordered binding of distinct protein complexes to catalyze initiation, elongation, termination, and coupled mRNA processing events. One or more proteins from each complex are known to bind pol II via the carboxy-terminal domain (CTD) of the largest subunit, Rpb1. How binding is coordinated is not known, but it might involve conformational changes in the CTD induced by the Ess1 peptidyl-prolyl cis/trans isomerase. Here, we examined the role of ESS1 in transcription by studying one of its multicopy suppressors, BYE1. We found that Bye1 is a negative regulator of transcription elongation. This led to the finding that Ess1 also inhibits elongation; Ess1 opposes elongation factors Dst1 and Spt4/5, and overexpression of ESS1 makes cells more sensitive to the elongation inhibitor 6-AU. In reporter gene assays, ess1 mutations reduce the ability of elongation-arrest sites to stall polymerase. We also show that Ess1 acts positively in transcription termination, independent of its role in elongation. We propose that Ess1-induced conformational changes attenuate pol II elongation and help coordinate the ordered assembly of protein complexes on the CTD. In this way, Ess1 might regulate the transition between multiple steps of transcription.

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