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Science. 2015 Jun 19;348(6241):1372-6. doi: 10.1126/science.aab1223.

TRANSCRIPTION. Recruitment of RNA polymerase II by the pioneer transcription factor PHA-4.

Author information

1
Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA, USA.
2
Department of Cell and Developmental Biology, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA, USA.
3
Department of Biochemistry, University at Buffalo, Buffalo, NY, USA.
4
Department of Physics and Center for Systems Biology, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA, USA.
5
Department of Biochemistry, University at Buffalo, Buffalo, NY, USA. Department of Biostatistics, University at Buffalo, Buffalo, NY 14214, USA.
6
Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA, USA. smango@mcb.harvard.edu.

Abstract

Pioneer transcription factors initiate cell-fate changes by binding to silent target genes. They are among the first factors to bind key regulatory sites and facilitate chromatin opening. Here, we identify an additional role for pioneer factors. In early Caenorhabditis elegans foregut development, the pioneer factor PHA-4/FoxA binds promoters and recruits RNA polymerase II (Pol II), often in a poised configuration in which Pol II accumulates near transcription start sites. At a later developmental stage, PHA-4 promotes chromatin opening. We found many more genes with poised RNA polymerase than had been observed previously in unstaged embryos, revealing that early embryos accumulate poised Pol II and that poising is dynamic. Our results suggest that Pol II recruitment, in addition to chromatin opening, is an important feature of PHA-4 pioneer factor activity.

PMID:
26089518
PMCID:
PMC4861314
DOI:
10.1126/science.aab1223
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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