RNA Polymerase II Transcription Elongation

Stable Identifier
Homo sapiens
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The mechanisms governing the process of elongation during eukaryotic mRNA synthesis are being unraveled by recent studies. These studies have led to the expected discovery of a diverse collection of transcription factors that directly regulate the activities of RNA Polymerase II and unexpected discovery of roles for many elongation factors in other basic processes like DNA repair, recombination, etc. The transcription machinery and structural features of the major RNA polymerases are conserved across species. The genes active during elongation fall under different classes like, housekeeping, cell-cycle regulated, development and differentiation specific genes etc. The list of genes involved in elongation has been growing in recent times, and include: -TFIIS,DSIF, NELF, P-Tefb etc. that are involved in drug induced or sequence-dependent arrest - TFIIF, ELL, elongin, elongator etc. that are involved in increasing the catalytic rate of elongation by altering the Km and/or the Vmax of Pol II -FACT, Paf1 and other factors that are involved chromatin modification - DNA repair proteins, RNA processing and export factors, the 19S proteasome and a host of other factors like Spt5-Spt5, Paf1, and NELF complexes, FCP1P etc. (Arndt and Kane, 2003). Elongation also represents processive phase of transcription in which the activities of several mRNA processing factors are coupled to transcription through their binding to RNA polymerase (Pol II). One of the key events that enables this interaction is the differential phosphorylation of Pol II CTD. Phosphorylation pattern of CTD changes during transcription, most significantly at the beginning and during elongation process. TFIIH-dependent Ser5 phosphorylation is observed primarily at promoter regions while P-Tefb mediated Ser2 phosphorylation is seen mainly in the coding regions, during elongation. Experimental evidence suggests a dynamic association of RNA processing factors with differently modified forms of the polymerase during the transcription cycle. (Komarnitsky et al., 2000). [Komarnitsky et al 2000, Arndt & Kane 2003, Shilatifard et al 2003]

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