The Ccr4–Not complex regulates essentially every aspect of gene expression, from mRNA synthesis to protein destruction. The Not4 subunit of the complex contains an E3 RING domain and targets proteins for ubiquitin-dependent proteolysis. Ccr4–Not associates with elongating RNA polymerase II (RNAPII), which raises the possibility that it controls the degradation of elongation complex components. Here, we demonstrate that Ccr4–Not controls the ubiquitylation and turnover of Rpb1, the largest subunit of RNAPII, during transcription arrest. Deleting NOT4 or mutating its RING domain strongly reduced the DNA damage-dependent ubiquitylation and destruction of Rpb1. Surprisingly, in vitro ubiquitylation assays indicate that Ccr4–Not does not directly ubiqui-tylate Rpb1 but instead promotes Rpb1 ubiquitylation by the HECT domain-containing ligase Rsp5. Genetic analyses suggest that Ccr4–Not acts upstream of RSP5, where it acts to initiate the destruction process. Ccr4–Not binds Rsp5 and forms a ternary complex with it and the RNAPII elongation complex. Analysis of mutant Ccr4–Not lacking the RING domain of Not4 suggests that it both recruits Rsp5 and delivers the E2 Ubc4/5 to RNAPII. Our work reveals a previously unknown function of Ccr4–Not and identifies an essential new regulator of RNAPII turnover during genotoxic stress.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Developmental Biology