Elongator, a multisubunit component of a novel RNA polymerase II holoenzyme for transcriptional elongation.
The form of RNA polymerase II (RNAPII) engaged in transcriptional elongation was isolated. Elongating RNAPII was associated with a novel multisubunit complex, termed elongator, whose stable interaction was dependent on a hyperphosphorylated state of the RNAPII carboxy-terminal domain (CTD). A free form of elongator was also isolated, demonstrating the discrete nature of the complex, and free elongator could bind directly to RNAPII. The gene encoding the largest subunit of elongator, ELP1, was cloned. Phenotypes of yeast elp1 delta cells demonstrated an involvement of elongator in transcriptional elongation as well as activation in vivo. Our data indicate that the transition from transcriptional initiation to elongation involves an exchange of the multiprotein mediator complex for elongator in a reaction coupled to CTD hyperphosphorylation. (+info)
Conserved mechanism of PLAG1 activation in salivary gland tumors with and without chromosome 8q12 abnormalities: identification of SII as a new fusion partner gene.
We have previously shown (K. Kas et al, Nat. Genet., 15: 170-174, 1997) that the developmentally regulated zinc finger gene pleomorphic adenoma gene 1 (PLAG1) is the target gene in 8q12 in pleomorphic adenomas of the salivary glands with t(3;8)(p21;q12) translocations. The t(3;8) results in promoter swapping between PLAG1 and the constitutively expressed gene for beta-catenin (CTNNB1), leading to activation of PLAG1 expression and reduced expression of CTNNB1. Here we have studied the expression of PLAG1 by Northern blot analysis in 47 primary benign and malignant human tumors with or without cytogenetic abnormalities of 8q12. Overexpression of PLAG1 was found in 23 tumors (49%). Thirteen of 17 pleomorphic adenomas with a normal karyotype and 5 of 10 with 12q13-15 abnormalities overexpressed PLAG1, which demonstrates that PLAG1 activation is a frequent event in adenomas irrespective of karyotype. In contrast, PLAG1 was overexpressed in only 2 of 11 malignant salivary gland tumors analyzed, which suggests that, at least in salivary gland tumors, PLAG1 activation preferentially occurs in benign tumors. PLAG1 over-expression was also found in three of nine mesenchymal tumors, i.e., in two uterine leiomyomas and one leiomyosarcoma. RNase protection, rapid amplification of 5'-cDNA ends (5'-RACE), and reverse transcription-PCR analyses of five adenomas with a normal karyotype revealed fusion transcripts in three tumors. Nucleotide sequence analysis of these showed that they contained fusions between PLAG1 and CTNNB1 (one case) or PLAG1 and a novel fusion partner gene, i.e., the gene encoding the transcription elongation factor SII (two cases). The fusions occurred in the 5' noncoding region of PLAG1, leading to exchange of regulatory control elements and, as a consequence, activation of PLAG1 gene expression. Because all of the cases had grossly normal karyotypes, the rearrangements must result from cryptic rearrangements. The results suggest that in addition to chromosomal translocations and cryptic rearrangements, PLAG1 may also be activated by mutations or indirect mechanisms. Our findings establish a conserved mechanism of PLAG1 activation in salivary gland tumors with and without 8q12 aberrations, which indicates that such activation is a frequent event in these tumors. (+info)
NELF, a multisubunit complex containing RD, cooperates with DSIF to repress RNA polymerase II elongation.
DRB is a classic inhibitor of transcription elongation by RNA polymerase II (pol II). Since DRB generally affects class II genes, factors involved in this process must play fundamental roles in pol II elongation. Recently, two elongation factors essential for DRB action were identified, namely DSIF and P-TEFb. Here we describe the identification and purification from HeLa nuclear extract of a third protein factor required for DRB-sensitive transcription. This factor, termed negative elongation factor (NELF), cooperates with DSIF and strongly represses pol II elongation. This repression is reversed by P-TEFb-dependent phosphorylation of the pol II C-terminal domain. NELF is composed of five polypeptides, the smallest of which is identical to RD, a putative RNA-binding protein of unknown function. This study reveals a molecular mechanism for DRB action and a regulatory network of positive and negative elongation factors. (+info)
The Cys4 zinc finger of bacteriophage T7 primase in sequence-specific single-stranded DNA recognition.
Bacteriophage T7 DNA primase recognizes 5'-GTC-3' in single-stranded DNA. The primase contains a single Cys4 zinc-binding motif that is essential for recognition. Biochemical and mutagenic analyses suggest that the Cys4 motif contacts cytosine of 5'-GTC-3' and may also contribute to thymine recognition. Residues His33 and Asp31 are critical for these interactions. Biochemical analysis also reveals that T7 primase selectively binds CTP in the absence of DNA. We propose that bound CTP selects the remaining base G, of 5'-GTC-3', by base pairing. Our deduced mechanism for recognition of ssDNA by Cys4 motifs bears little resemblance to the recognition of trinucleotides of double-stranded DNA by Cys2His2 zinc fingers. (+info)
Transcriptional inhibition of p53 by the MLL/MEN chimeric protein found in myeloid leukemia.
The t(11;19)(q23;p13.1) translocation is frequently found in adult myeloid leukemia. In the MLL/MEN fusion protein generated by this translocation, most of the coding region of the MEN protein, an RNA polymerase II elongation factor, is fused to the N-terminal third of the MLL protein, a possible transcriptional regulator. However, the molecular mechanism of leukemogenesis by the fusion protein remains unclear. We investigated the effects of the fusion protein on p53 function using luciferase assays. Overexpression of the fusion protein suppressed the transactivation ability of p53. This negative effect of the fusion protein on p53 function was dependent on the region derived from MEN. Moreover, p53 coimmunoprecipitated with MLL/MEN as well as MEN, suggesting that the fusion protein binds to p53 through the MEN region. We found that MEN binding to p53 was mediated by its N-terminal region and repression of p53 transcriptional activity was mediated by its C-terminal region. We also found that these two functional regions were essential for the transformation of Rat1 cells mediated by MEN. Although we could not demonstrate a functional difference between MLL/MEN and MEN in this study, these data suggest that the MLL/MEN chimeric transcriptional regulator may exert its oncogenic activity by inhibiting the function of the p53 tumor-suppressor protein by binding to it. Our findings provide a novel insight into the leukemogenic mechanism exerted by the t(11;19)(q23;p13.1) translocation. (+info)
Physical interaction and functional antagonism between the RNA polymerase II elongation factor ELL and p53.
ELL was originally identified as a gene that undergoes translocation with the trithorax-like MLL gene in acute myeloid leukemia. Recent studies have shown that the gene product, ELL, functions as an RNA polymerase II elongation factor that increases the rate of transcription by RNA polymerase II by suppressing transient pausing. Using yeast two-hybrid screening with ELL as bait, we isolated the p53 tumor suppressor protein as a specific interactor of ELL. The interaction involves respectively the transcription elongation activation domain of ELL and the C-terminal tail of p53. Through this interaction, ELL inhibits both sequence-specific transactivation and sequence-independent transrepression by p53. Thus, ELL acts as a negative regulator of p53 in transcription. Conversely, p53 inhibits the transcription elongation activity of ELL, suggesting that p53 is capable of regulating general transcription by RNA polymerase II through controlling the ELL activity. Elevated levels of ELL in cells resulted in the inhibition of p53-dependent induction of endogenous p21 and substantially protected cells from p53-mediated apoptosis that is induced by genotoxic stress. Our observations indicate the existence of a mutually inhibitory interaction between p53 and a general transcription elongation factor ELL and raise the possibility that an aberrant interaction between p53 and ELL may play a role in the genesis of leukemias carrying MLL-ELL gene translocations. (+info)
Transcriptional cofactor CA150 regulates RNA polymerase II elongation in a TATA-box-dependent manner.
Tat protein strongly activates transcription from the human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) long terminal repeat (LTR) by enhancing the elongation efficiency of RNA polymerase II complexes. Tat-mediated transcriptional activation requires cellular cofactors and specific cis-acting elements within the HIV-1 promoter, among them a functional TATA box. Here, we have investigated the mechanism by which one of these cofactors, termed CA150, regulates HIV-1 transcription in vivo. We present a series of functional assays that demonstrate that the regulation of the HIV-1 LTR by CA150 has the same functional requirements as the activation by Tat. We found that CA150 affects elongation of transcription complexes assembled on the HIV-1 promoter in a TATA-box-dependent manner. We discuss the data in terms of the involvement of CA150 in the regulation of Tat-activated HIV-1 gene expression. In addition, we also provide evidence suggesting a role for CA150 in the regulation of cellular transcriptional processes. (+info)
Cloning and characterization of the EAP30 subunit of the ELL complex that confers derepression of transcription by RNA polymerase II.
The product of the human oncogene ELL encodes an RNA polymerase II transcription factor that undergoes frequent translocation in acute myeloid leukemia (AML). In addition to its elongation activity, ELL contains a novel type of RNA polymerase II interaction domain that is capable of repressing polymerase activity in promoter-specific transcription. Remarkably, the ELL translocation that is found in patients with AML results in the deletion of exactly this functional domain. Here we report that the EAP30 subunit of the ELL complex has sequence homology to the Saccharomyces cerevisiae SNF8, whose genetic analysis suggests its involvement in the derepression of gene expression. Remarkably, EAP30 can interact with ELL and derepress ELL's inhibitory activity in vitro. This finding may reveal a key role for EAP30 in the pathogenesis of human leukemia. (+info)