mRNA Cap Methyltransferase, RNMT-RAM, Promotes RNA Pol II-Dependent Transcription

Dhaval Varshney, Olivia Lombardi, Gabriele Schweikert, Sianadh Dunn, Olga Suska, Victoria H. Cowling

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


mRNA cap addition occurs early during RNA Pol II-dependent transcription, facilitating pre-mRNA processing and translation. We report that the mammalian mRNA cap methyltransferase, RNMT-RAM, promotes RNA Pol II transcription independent of mRNA capping and translation. In cells, sublethal suppression of RNMT-RAM reduces RNA Pol II occupancy, net mRNA synthesis, and pre-mRNA levels. Conversely, expression of RNMT-RAM increases transcription independent of cap methyltransferase activity. In isolated nuclei, recombinant RNMT-RAM stimulates transcriptional output; this requires the RAM RNA binding domain. RNMT-RAM interacts with nascent transcripts along their entire length and with transcription-associated factors including the RNA Pol II subunits SPT4, SPT6, and PAFc. Suppression of RNMT-RAM inhibits transcriptional markers including histone H2BK120 ubiquitination, H3K4 and H3K36 methylation, RNA Pol II CTD S5 and S2 phosphorylation, and PAFc recruitment. These findings suggest that multiple interactions among RNMT-RAM, RNA Pol II factors, and RNA along the transcription unit stimulate transcription.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1530-1542
Number of pages14
JournalCell Reports
Issue number5
Early online date2 May 2018
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 2 May 2018


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