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Making ends meet: coordination between RNA 3′‐end processing and transcription initiation

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Abstract RNA polymerase II (RNAPII)‐mediated gene transcription initiates at promoters and ends at terminators. Transcription termination is intimately connected to 3′‐end processing of the produced RNA and already when loaded at the promoter, RNAPII starts to become configured for this downstream event. Conversely, RNAPII is ‘reset’ as part of the 3′‐end processing/termination event, thus preparing the enzyme for its next round of transcription—possibly on the same gene. There is both direct and circumstantial evidence for preferential recycling of RNAPII from the gene terminator back to its own promoter, which supposedly increases the efficiency of the transcription process under conditions where RNAPII levels are rate limiting. Here, we review differences and commonalities between initiation and 3′‐end processing/termination processes on various types of RNAPII transcribed genes. In doing so, we discuss the requirements for efficient 3′‐end processing/termination and how these may relate to proper recycling of RNAPII. WIREs RNA 2013, 4:233–246. doi: 10.1002/wrna.1156 This article is categorized under: RNA Processing > 3' End Processing

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The RNAPII transcription cycle. Illustration showing the changes of RNAPII during transcription and recycling based on transcription of a polyA gene. Colored circles of the respective residue indicate phosphorylation of the CTD: tyrosine 1 (Y1) in yellow, serine 2 (S2) in green, threonine 4 (T4) in purple, serine 5 (S5) in red, and serine 7 (S7) in blue. For S2 and S7, intense colors illustrate high levels of phosphorylation, whereas less intense coloration indicates lower levels of phosphorylation. XRN2 is depicted with a yellow pacman. For further details see text.

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Overview of different types of RNAPII transcribed genes and their 3′‐end processing machineries. (a) Schematic illustration of the general lengths of polyA (green), histone (red), and snRNA (purple) genes (terminators included). See text for details. (b) Overview of systems engaged with 3′‐end processing of precursor RNAs arising from polyA genes, histone genes, and snRNA genes as well as 3′‐end processing by the Nrd1p/Nab3p/Sen1p (NNS) complex. Top panels show sequence elements and complexes involved with an arrow emphasizing the endoribonuclease catalyzing the cleavage reaction. Lower panels show the processed RNA product, which in the case of NNS‐mediated processing is further processed by Trf4‐Air2‐Mtr4 polyadenylation (TRAMP) and the RNA exosome. Complexes involved in 3′‐end processing of polyA mRNAs are depicted in shades of green, for histone mRNAs in shades of red, and for snRNA in purple. The machineries responsible for 3′‐end processing of histone and polyA mRNAs share several factors, which are in shades of green (see text for further details). The proteins of the NNS complex are depicted in shades of gray.

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RNA Processing > 3′ End Processing

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