"Cotranscriptionality": the transcription elongation complex as a nexus for nuclear transactions

Mol Cell. 2009 Oct 23;36(2):178-91. doi: 10.1016/j.molcel.2009.09.018.


Much of the complex process of RNP biogenesis takes place at the gene cotranscriptionally. The target for RNA binding and processing factors is, therefore, not a solitary RNA molecule but, rather, a transcription elongation complex (TEC) comprising the growing nascent RNA and RNA polymerase traversing a chromatin template with associated passenger proteins. RNA maturation factors are not the only nuclear machines whose work is organized cotranscriptionally around the TEC scaffold. Additionally, DNA repair, covalent chromatin modification, "gene gating" at the nuclear pore, Ig gene hypermutation, and sister chromosome cohesion have all been demonstrated or suggested to involve a cotranscriptional component. From this perspective, TECs can be viewed as potent "community organizers" within the nucleus.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Alternative Splicing / genetics
  • Cell Nucleus / genetics*
  • Chromatin / metabolism
  • Humans
  • RNA 3' End Processing
  • RNA Polymerase II / metabolism
  • Transcription, Genetic*


  • Chromatin
  • RNA Polymerase II