Controlling the Elongation Phase of Transcription with P-TEFb
ABSTRACT The positive transcription elongation factor b (P-TEFb) is a cyclin-dependent kinase that controls the elongation phase of transcription by RNA polymerase II (RNAPII). This process is made possible by the reversal of effects of negative elongation factors that include NELF and DSIF. In complex organisms, elongation control is critical for the regulated expression of most genes. In those organisms, the function of P-TEFb is influenced negatively by HEXIM proteins and 7SK snRNA and positively by a variety of recruiting factors. Phylogenetic analyses of the components of the human elongation control machinery indicate that the number of mechanisms utilized to regulate P-TEFb function increased as organisms developed more complex developmental patterns.
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ABSTRACT: The oncogene Tax of human T-cell leukemia virus type 1 (HTLV-1) is a potent transactivator of viral and cellular transcription. Here, we identified ELL2 as the sole transcription elongation factor to be specifically upregulated in HTLV-1-/Tax-transformed T-cells. Tax contributes to regulation of ELL2, since transient transfection of Tax increases ELL2 mRNA, Tax transactivates the ELL2 promoter, and repression of Tax results in decrease of ELL2 in transformed T-lymphocytes. However, we also measured upregulation of ELL2 in HTLV-1-transformed cells exhibiting undetectable amounts of Tax, suggesting that ELL2 can still be maintained independent of continuous Tax expression. We further show that Tax and ELL2 synergistically activate the HTLV-1 promoter, indicating that ELL2 cooperates with Tax in viral transactivation. This is supported by our findings that Tax and ELL2 accumulate in nuclear fractions and that they co-precipitate upon co-expression in transiently-transfected cells. Thus, upregulation of ELL2 could contribute to HTLV-1 gene regulation.Virology 09/2014; s 464–465:98–110. DOI:10.1016/j.virol.2014.06.028 · 3.35 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: One-year survival rates for newly diagnosed hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) are <50%, and unresectable HCC carries a dismal prognosis owing to its aggressiveness and the undruggable nature of its main genetic drivers. By screening a custom library of shRNAs directed toward known drug targets in a genetically defined Myc-driven HCC model, we identified cyclin-dependent kinase 9 (Cdk9) as required for disease maintenance. Pharmacological or shRNA-mediated CDK9 inhibition led to robust anti-tumor effects that correlated with MYC expression levels and depended on the role that both CDK9 and MYC exert in transcription elongation. Our results establish CDK9 inhibition as a therapeutic strategy for MYC-overexpressing liver tumors and highlight the relevance of transcription elongation in the addiction of cancer cells to MYC.Genes & development 08/2014; 28(16):1800-14. DOI:10.1101/gad.244368.114 · 12.64 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: The estrogen receptor α (ERα) controls cell proliferation and tumorigenesis by recruiting various cofactors to estrogen response elements (EREs) to control gene transcription. A deeper understanding of these transcriptional mechanisms may uncover therapeutic targets for ERα-dependent cancers. We show that BRD4 regulates ERα-induced gene expression by affecting elongation-associated phosphorylation of RNA polymerase II (RNAPII) and histone H2B monoubiquitination. Consistently, BRD4 activity is required for proliferation of ER(+) breast and endometrial cancer cells and uterine growth in mice. Genome-wide studies revealed an enrichment of BRD4 on transcriptional start sites of active genes and a requirement of BRD4 for H2B monoubiquitination in the transcribed region of estrogen-responsive genes. Importantly, we demonstrate that BRD4 occupancy on distal EREs enriched for H3K27ac is required for recruitment and elongation of RNAPII on EREs and the production of ERα-dependent enhancer RNAs. These results uncover BRD4 as a central regulator of ERα function and potential therapeutic target.Cell Reports 07/2014; DOI:10.1016/j.celrep.2014.06.016 · 7.21 Impact Factor