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Mol Cell. 2011 Feb 18;41(4):409-18. doi: 10.1016/j.molcel.2011.01.022.

Transcriptional activators enhance polyadenylation of mRNA precursors.

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  • 1Department of Biological Sciences, Columbia University, New York, NY 10027, USA.


Polyadenylation of mRNA precursors is frequently coupled to transcription by RNA polymerase II. Although this coupling is known to involve interactions with the C-terminal domain of the RNA polymerase II largest subunit, the possible role of other factors is not known. Here we show that a prototypical transcriptional activator, GAL4-VP16, stimulates transcription-coupled polyadenylation in vitro. In the absence of GAL4-VP16, specifically initiated transcripts accumulated but little polyadenylation was observed, while in its presence polyadenylation was strongly enhanced. We further show that this stimulation requires the transcription elongation-associated PAF complex (PAF1c), as PAF1c depletion blocked GAL4-VP16-stimulated polyadenylation. Furthermore, knockdown of PAF subunits by siRNA resulted in decreased 3' cleavage, and nuclear export, of mRNA in vivo. Finally, we show that GAL4-VP16 interacts directly with PAF1c and recruits it to DNA templates. Our results indicate that a transcription activator can stimulate transcription-coupled 3' processing and does so via interaction with PAF1c.

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