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A splicing-dependent transcriptional checkpoint associated with prespliceosome formation

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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)779-790
Number of pages12
JournalMolecular Cell
Issue number5
Early online date20 Feb 2014
Publication statusPublished - 6 Mar 2014


There is good evidence for functional interactions between splicing and transcription in eukaryotes, but how and why these processes are coupled remain unknown. Prp5 protein (Prp5p) is an RNA-stimulated adenosine triphosphatase (ATPase) required for prespliceosome formation in yeast. We demonstrate through in vivo RNA labeling that, in addition to a splicing defect, the prp5-1 mutation causes a defect in the transcription of intron-containing genes. We present chromatin immunoprecipitation evidence for a transcriptional elongation defect in which RNA polymerase that is phosphorylated at Ser5 of the largest subunit's heptad repeat accumulates over introns and that this defect requires Cus2 protein. A similar accumulation of polymerase was observed when prespliceosome formation was blocked by a mutation in U2 snRNA. These results indicate the existence of a transcriptional elongation checkpoint that is associated with prespliceosome formation during cotranscriptional spliceosome assembly. We propose a role for Cus2p as a potential checkpoint factor in transcription.

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