DIS3 shapes the RNA polymerase II transcriptome in humans by degrading a variety of unwanted transcripts

Genome Res. 2015 Nov;25(11):1622-33. doi: 10.1101/gr.189597.115. Epub 2015 Aug 20.


Human DIS3, the nuclear catalytic subunit of the exosome complex, contains exonucleolytic and endonucleolytic active domains. To identify DIS3 targets genome-wide, we combined comprehensive transcriptomic analyses of engineered HEK293 cells that expressed mutant DIS3, with Photoactivatable Ribonucleoside-Enhanced Cross-Linking and Immunoprecipitation (PAR-CLIP) experiments. In cells expressing DIS3 with both catalytic sites mutated, RNAs originating from unannotated genomic regions increased ∼2.5-fold, covering ∼70% of the genome and allowing for thousands of novel transcripts to be discovered. Previously described pervasive transcription products, such as Promoter Upstream Transcripts (PROMPTs), accumulated robustly upon DIS3 dysfunction, representing a significant fraction of PAR-CLIP reads. We have also detected relatively long putative premature RNA polymerase II termination products of protein-coding genes whose levels in DIS3 mutant cells can exceed the mature mRNAs, indicating that production of such truncated RNA is a common phenomenon. In addition, we found DIS3 to be involved in controlling the formation of paraspeckles, nuclear bodies that are organized around NEAT1 lncRNA, whose short form was overexpressed in cells with mutated DIS3. Moreover, the DIS3 mutations resulted in misregulation of expression of ∼50% of transcribed protein-coding genes, probably as a secondary effect of accumulation of various noncoding RNA species. Finally, cells expressing mutant DIS3 accumulated snoRNA precursors, which correlated with a strong PAR-CLIP signal, indicating that DIS3 is the main snoRNA-processing enzyme. EXOSC10 (RRP6) instead controls the levels of the mature snoRNAs. Overall, we show that DIS3 has a major nucleoplasmic function in shaping the human RNA polymerase II transcriptome.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Exosome Multienzyme Ribonuclease Complex / genetics*
  • Exosome Multienzyme Ribonuclease Complex / metabolism
  • Gene Expression Regulation
  • HEK293 Cells
  • Humans
  • Mutant Proteins / genetics
  • Mutant Proteins / metabolism
  • RNA Polymerase II / genetics
  • RNA Polymerase II / metabolism*
  • RNA, Long Noncoding / genetics
  • RNA, Long Noncoding / metabolism
  • RNA, Messenger / genetics
  • RNA, Messenger / metabolism
  • Sequence Analysis, RNA
  • Transcription, Genetic*
  • Transcriptome*


  • Mutant Proteins
  • NEAT1 long non-coding RNA, human
  • RNA, Long Noncoding
  • RNA, Messenger
  • RNA Polymerase II
  • Exosome Multienzyme Ribonuclease Complex
  • DIS3 protein, human

Associated data

  • GEO/GSE64332