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Journal Article

The pause-initiation limit restricts transcription activation in human cells.

MPS-Authors
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Gressel,  S.
Department of Molecular Biology, MPI for Biophysical Chemistry, Max Planck Society;

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Schwalb,  B.
Department of Molecular Biology, MPI for Biophysical Chemistry, Max Planck Society;

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Cramer,  P.
Department of Molecular Biology, MPI for Biophysical Chemistry, Max Planck Society;

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Fulltext (public)

3151111.pdf
(Publisher version), 2MB

Supplementary Material (public)

3151111_Suppl_1.pdf
(Supplementary material), 3MB

3151111_Suppl_2.pdf
(Supplementary material), 2MB

3151111_Suppl_3.pdf
(Supplementary material), 598KB

Citation

Gressel, S., Schwalb, B., & Cramer, P. (2019). The pause-initiation limit restricts transcription activation in human cells. Nature Communicationsvolume, 10(1): 3603. doi:10.1038/s41467-019-11536-8.


Cite as: http://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-0004-6D4F-B
Abstract
Eukaryotic gene transcription is often controlled at the level of RNA polymerase II (Pol II) pausing in the promoter-proximal region. Pausing Pol II limits the frequency of transcription initiation ('pause-initiation limit'), predicting that the pause duration must be decreased for transcriptional activation. To test this prediction, we conduct a genome-wide kinetic analysis of the heat shock response in human cells. We show that the pause-initiation limit restricts transcriptional activation at most genes. Gene activation generally requires the activity of the P-TEFb kinase CDK9, which decreases the duration of Pol II pausing and thereby enables an increase in the productive initiation frequency. The transcription of enhancer elements is generally not pause limited and can be activated without CDK9 activity. Our results define the kinetics of Pol II transcriptional regulation in human cells at all gene classes during a natural transcription response.