The Paf1 complex has functions independent of actively transcribing RNA polymerase II

Mol Cell. 2004 May 21;14(4):447-56. doi: 10.1016/s1097-2765(04)00257-6.


The yeast Paf1 complex, minimally composed of Paf1, Ctr9, Cdc73, Rtf1, and Leo1, was originally isolated in association with RNA polymerase II (Pol II). Paf1 complex components are abundant and colocalize with Pol II on chromatin at promoters and in the coding regions of actively transcribed genes. Loss of Paf1 results in severe phenotypes and reduced amounts of other Paf1 factors, with little effect on abundance or chromatin distribution of Pol II, proteins important for transcriptional elongation (Spt5, Spt16), or RNA processing (Sub2). Loss of Paf1 factors causes a reduction of Pol II Ser2 phosphorylation and shortened poly(A) tails, suggesting that the complex facilitates linkage of transcriptional and posttranscriptional events. Surprisingly, loss of Rtf1 or Cdc73, with little phenotypic consequence, results in loss of Paf1 factors from chromatin and a significant reduction in Paf1/Pol II association. Therefore, the major functions of Paf1 can be independent of actively transcribing Pol II.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adenosine Triphosphatases / genetics
  • Adenosine Triphosphatases / metabolism
  • Cell Cycle Proteins / genetics
  • Cell Cycle Proteins / metabolism
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Chromosomal Proteins, Non-Histone / genetics
  • Chromosomal Proteins, Non-Histone / metabolism
  • Down-Regulation / genetics
  • Genes, Regulator / genetics*
  • Macromolecular Substances
  • Membrane Glycoproteins / deficiency
  • Membrane Glycoproteins / genetics
  • Nuclear Proteins / deficiency
  • Nuclear Proteins / genetics
  • Nuclear Proteins / metabolism*
  • Phenotype
  • Phosphorylation
  • RNA Polymerase II / genetics
  • RNA Polymerase II / metabolism*
  • RNA, Messenger / genetics
  • Saccharomyces cerevisiae / enzymology*
  • Saccharomyces cerevisiae / genetics*
  • Saccharomyces cerevisiae Proteins / genetics
  • Saccharomyces cerevisiae Proteins / metabolism*
  • Serine / metabolism
  • Transcription Factors / genetics
  • Transcription Factors / metabolism
  • Transcriptional Elongation Factors / genetics
  • Transcriptional Elongation Factors / metabolism


  • Cell Cycle Proteins
  • Chromosomal Proteins, Non-Histone
  • Macromolecular Substances
  • Membrane Glycoproteins
  • Nuclear Proteins
  • PAF1 protein, S cerevisiae
  • RNA, Messenger
  • SPT16 protein, S cerevisiae
  • Saccharomyces cerevisiae Proteins
  • Transcription Factors
  • Transcriptional Elongation Factors
  • SPT5 transcriptional elongation factor
  • Serine
  • RNA Polymerase II
  • Adenosine Triphosphatases
  • RNA-dependent ATPase