The Ccr4-Not complex has been implicated in the control of multiple steps of mRNA metabolism; however, its functions in transcription remain ambiguous. The discovery that Ccr4/Pop2 is the major cytoplasmic mRNA deadenylase and the detection of Not proteins within mRNA processing bodies have raised questions about the roles of the Ccr4-Not complex in transcription. Here we firmly establish Ccr4-Not as a positive elongation factor for RNA polymerase II (RNAPII). The Ccr4-Not complex is targeted to the coding region of genes in a transcription-dependent manner similar to RNAPII and promotes elongation in vivo. Furthermore, Ccr4-Not interacts directly with elongating RNAPII complexes and stimulates transcription elongation of arrested polymerase in vitro. Ccr4-Not can reactivate backtracked RNAPII using a mechanism different from that of the well-characterized elongation factor TFIIS. While not essential for its interaction with elongation complexes, Ccr4-Not interacts with the emerging transcript and promotes elongation in a manner dependent on transcript length, although this interaction is not required for it to bind RNAPII. Our comprehensive analysis shows that Ccr4-Not directly regulates transcription, and suggests it does so by promoting the resumption of elongation of arrested RNAPII when it encounters transcriptional blocks in vivo.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Developmental Biology