Global analysis of transcriptionally engaged yeast RNA polymerase III reveals extended tRNA transcripts

Tomasz W Turowski, Ewa Leśniewska, Clementine Delan-Forino, Camille Sayou, Magdalena Boguta, David Tollervey

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

RNA polymerase III (RNAPIII) synthesizes a range of highly abundant small stable RNAs, principally pre-tRNAs. Here we report the genome-wide analysis of nascent transcripts attached to RNAPIII under permissive and restrictive growth conditions. This revealed strikingly uneven polymerase distributions across transcription units, generally with a predominant 5´ peak. This peak was higher for more heavily transcribed genes, suggesting that initiation site clearance is rate limiting during RNAPIII transcription. Down-regulation of RNAPIII transcription under stress conditions was found to be uneven; a subset of tRNA genes showed low response to nutrient shift or loss of the major transcription regulator Maf1, suggesting potential “housekeeping” roles. Many tRNA genes were found to generate long, 3´-extended forms due to read-through of the canonical poly(U) terminators. The degree of read-through was anti-correlated with the density of U-residues in the nascent tRNA, and multiple, functional terminators can be located far downstream. The steady-state levels of 3´-extended pre-tRNA transcripts are low, apparently due to targeting by the nuclear surveillance machinery; especially the RNA-binding protein Nab2, cofactors for the nuclear exosome and the 5´-exonuclease Rat1.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)933-944
Number of pages12
JournalGenome Research
Issue number7
Early online date20 May 2016
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2016

Keywords / Materials (for Non-textual outputs)

  • RNA polymerase III
  • tRNA
  • UV cross-linking
  • RNA-protein interaction
  • Maf1
  • Nab2
  • exosome
  • transcription elongation
  • transcription termination
  • surveillance


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