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Science 300 (5618): 492-495

Copyright © 2003 by the American Association for the Advancement of Science

Regulation of Elongating RNA Polymerase II by Forkhead Transcription Factors in Yeast

Antonin Morillon,1 Justin O'Sullivan,2 Abul Azad,2 Nicholas Proudfoot,2 Jane Mellor1*

Abstract: The elongation phase of transcription by RNA polymerase II (RNAPII) is highly regulated and tightly linked to pre–messenger RNA (pre-mRNA) processing. Recent studies have implicated an early elongation checkpoint that facilitates the link to pre-mRNA processing. Here we show that the yeast forkhead transcription factors, Fkh1p and Fkh2p, associate with the coding regions of active genes and influence, in opposing ways, transcriptional elongation and termination. These events are coordinated with serine-5 and -2 phosphorylation of the heptad repeat of the carboxy-terminal domain (CTD) of RNAPII. Our results suggest that, in addition to their documented promoter function, Fkh1p and Fkh2p coordinate early transcription elongation and pre-mRNA processing. This may reflect a general feature of gene regulation in eukaryotes.

1 Department of Biochemistry, University of Oxford, South Parks Road, Oxford OX1 3QU, UK.
2 Sir William Dunn School of Pathology, University of Oxford, South Parks Road, Oxford OX1 3RE, UK.

* To whom correspondence should be addressed. E-mail: emellor{at}molbiol.ox.ac.uk

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