TITLE

Novel Tandem Reporter Quantifies RNA Polymerase II Termination in Mammalian Cells

AUTHOR(S)
Banerjee, Ayan; Sammarco, Mimi C.; Ditch, Scott; Wang, Jeffrey; Grabczyk, Ed
PUB. DATE
July 2009
SOURCE
PLoS ONE;2009, Vol. 4 Issue 7, p1
SOURCE TYPE
Academic Journal
DOC. TYPE
Article
ABSTRACT
Background: Making the correct choice between transcription elongation and transcription termination is essential to the function of RNA polymerase II, and fundamental to gene expression. This choice can be influenced by factors modifying the transcription complex, factors modifying chromatin, or signals mediated by the template or transcript. To aid in the study of transcription elongation and termination we have developed a transcription elongation reporter system that consists of tandem luciferase reporters flanking a test sequence of interest. The ratio of expression from the reporters provides a measure of the relative rates of successful elongation through the intervening sequence. Methodology/Principal Findings: Size matched fragments containing the polyadenylation signal of the human β-actin gene (ACTB) and the human β-globin gene (HBB) were evaluated for transcription termination using this new ratiometric tandem reporter assay. Constructs bearing just 200 base pairs on either side of the consensus poly(A) addition site terminated 98% and 86% of transcription for ACTB and HBB sequences, respectively. The nearly 10-fold difference in read-through transcription between the two short poly(A) regions was eclipsed when additional downstream poly(A) sequence was included for each gene. Both poly(A) regions proved very effective at termination when 1100 base pairs were included, stopping 99.6% of transcription. To determine if part of the increased termination was simply due to the increased template length, we inserted several kilobases of heterologous coding sequence downstream of each poly(A) region test fragment. Unexpectedly, the additional length reduced the effectiveness of termination of HBB sequences 2-fold and of ACTB sequences 3- to 5-fold. Conclusions/Significance: The tandem construct provides a sensitive measure of transcription termination in human cells. Decreased Xrn2 or Senataxin levels produced only a modest release from termination. Our data support overlap in allosteric and torpedo mechanisms of transcription termination and suggest that efficient termination is ensured by redundancy.
ACCESSION #
84029281

 

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