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Mol Cell. 2014 Oct 2;56(1):29-42. doi: 10.1016/j.molcel.2014.08.023. Epub 2014 Sep 25.

Enhancer RNA facilitates NELF release from immediate early genes.

Author information

1
Department of Neuroscience, The University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, 5323 Harry Hines Boulevard, Dallas, TX 75390-9111, USA.
2
Department of Pharmacology, The University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, 5323 Harry Hines Boulevard, Dallas, TX 75390-9111, USA.
3
Sigma Life Science, 9186 Six Pines Drive, The Woodlands, TX 77380, USA.
4
Department of Neuroscience, The University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, 5323 Harry Hines Boulevard, Dallas, TX 75390-9111, USA. Electronic address: taekyung.kim@utsouthwestern.edu.

Abstract

Enhancer RNAs (eRNAs) are a class of long noncoding RNAs (lncRNA) expressed from active enhancers, whose function and action mechanism are yet to be firmly established. Here we show that eRNAs facilitate the transition of paused RNA polymerase II (RNAPII) into productive elongation by acting as a decoy for the negative elongation factor (NELF) complex upon induction of immediate early genes (IEGs) in neurons. eRNAs are synthesized prior to the culmination of target gene transcription and interact with the NELF complex. Knockdown of eRNAs expressed at neuronal enhancers impairs transient release of NELF from the specific target promoters during transcriptional activation, coinciding with a decrease in target mRNA induction. The enhancer-promoter interaction was unaffected by eRNA knockdown. Instead, chromatin looping might enable eRNAs to act locally at a specific promoter. Our findings highlight the spatiotemporally regulated action mechanism of eRNAs during early transcriptional elongation.

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PMID:
25263592
PMCID:
PMC4186258
DOI:
10.1016/j.molcel.2014.08.023
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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