Transcriptional noise and the fidelity of initiation by RNA polymerase II

Nat Struct Mol Biol. 2007 Feb;14(2):103-5. doi: 10.1038/nsmb0207-103.


Eukaryotes transcribe much of their genomes, but little is known about the fidelity of transcriptional initiation by RNA polymerase II in vivo. I suggest that 90% of Pol II initiation events in yeast represent transcriptional noise, and that the specificity of initiation is comparable to that of DNA-binding proteins and other biological processes. This emphasizes the need to develop criteria that distinguish transcriptional noise from transcription with a biological function.

MeSH terms

  • Genome, Fungal*
  • RNA Polymerase II / physiology*
  • RNA, Fungal / biosynthesis
  • RNA, Messenger / biosynthesis
  • Saccharomyces cerevisiae / genetics
  • Saccharomyces cerevisiae / metabolism*
  • Transcription, Genetic*


  • RNA, Fungal
  • RNA, Messenger
  • RNA Polymerase II