RNA polymerase II elongation control

Annu Rev Biochem. 2012;81:119-43. doi: 10.1146/annurev-biochem-052610-095910. Epub 2012 Mar 9.


Regulation of the elongation phase of transcription by RNA polymerase II (Pol II) is utilized extensively to generate the pattern of mRNAs needed to specify cell types and to respond to environmental changes. After Pol II initiates, negative elongation factors cause it to pause in a promoter proximal position. These polymerases are poised to respond to the positive transcription elongation factor P-TEFb, and then enter productive elongation only under the appropriate set of signals to generate full-length properly processed mRNAs. Recent global analyses of Pol II and elongation factors, mechanisms that regulate P-TEFb involving the 7SK small nuclear ribonucleoprotein (snRNP), factors that control both the negative and positive elongation properties of Pol II, and the mRNA processing events that are coupled with elongation are discussed.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Eukaryota / metabolism
  • Gene Expression Regulation
  • Humans
  • RNA Polymerase II / chemistry
  • RNA Polymerase II / metabolism*
  • Transcription Factors
  • Transcription, Genetic*


  • Transcription Factors
  • RNA Polymerase II