Reactome: A Curated Pathway Database

Formation of the Early Elongation Complex (R-HSA-113418)

Species Homo sapiens


Transcription elongation by RNA polymerase II (RNAPII) is controlled by a number of trans-acting transcription elongation factors as well as by cis-acting elements. Transcription elongation is a rate-limiting step for proper mRNA production in which the phosphorylation of Pol II CTD is a crucial biochemical event. The role of CTD phosphorylation in transcription by Pol II is greatly impaired by protein kinase inhibitors such as 5,6-dichloro-1- ribofuranosylbenzimidazole (DRB), which block CTD phosphorylation and induce arrest of elongating Pol II. DRB-sensitive activation Pol II CTD during elongation has enabled the isolation of two sets of factors -Negative Elongation Factors (NELF) and DRB sensitivity inducing factor (DSIF). P-Tefb is a DRB-sensitive, cyclin-dependent CTD kinase composed of Cdk9 that carries out Serine-2 phosphorylation of Pol II CTD during elongation.
The mechanism by which DSIF, NELF and P-TEFb act together in Pol II-regulated elongation is yet to be fully understood. Various biochemical evidences point to a model in which DSIF and NELF negatively regulate elongation through interactions with polymerase containing a hypophosphorylated CTD. Subsequent phosphorylation of the Pol II CTD by P-Tefb might promote elongation by inhibiting interactions of DSIF and NELF with the elongation complex.

Locations in the PathwayBrowser
Additional Information
Compartment nucleoplasm
GO Biological Process transcription elongation from RNA polymerase II promoter (0006368)