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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2011 Sep 6;108(36):E636-45. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1107107108. Epub 2011 Aug 22.

Human Polymerase-Associated Factor complex (PAFc) connects the Super Elongation Complex (SEC) to RNA polymerase II on chromatin.

Author information

1
Department of Molecular and Cell Biology, University of California, Berkeley, CA 94720, USA.

Abstract

The Super Elongation Complex (SEC), containing transcription elongation activators/coactivators P-TEFb, ELL2, AFF4/1, ENL, and AF9, is recruited by HIV-1 Tat and mixed lineage leukemia (MLL) proteins to activate the expression of HIV-1 and MLL-target genes, respectively. In the absence of Tat and MLL, however, it is unclear how SEC is targeted to RNA polymerase (Pol) II to stimulate elongation in general. Furthermore, although ENL and AF9 can bind the H3K79 methyltransferase Dot1L, it is unclear whether these bindings are required for SEC-mediated transcription. Here, we show that the homologous ENL and AF9 exist in separate SECs with similar but nonidentical functions. ENL/AF9 contacts the scaffolding protein AFF4 that uses separate domains to recruit different subunits into SEC. ENL/AF9 also exists outside SEC when bound to Dot1L, which is found to inhibit SEC function. The YEATS domain of ENL/AF9 targets SEC to Pol II on chromatin through contacting the human Polymerase-Associated Factor complex (PAFc) complex. This finding explains the YEATS domain's dispensability for leukemogenesis when ENL/AF9 is translocated to MLL, whose interactions with PAFc and DNA likely substitute for the PAFc/chromatin-targeting function of the YEATS domain.

PMID:
21873227
PMCID:
PMC3169135
DOI:
10.1073/pnas.1107107108
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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