The conserved protein Seb1 drives transcription termination by binding RNA polymerase II and nascent RNA

Nat Commun. 2017 Apr 3:8:14861. doi: 10.1038/ncomms14861.


Termination of RNA polymerase II (Pol II) transcription is an important step in the transcription cycle, which involves the dislodgement of polymerase from DNA, leading to release of a functional transcript. Recent studies have identified the key players required for this process and showed that a common feature of these proteins is a conserved domain that interacts with the phosphorylated C-terminus of Pol II (CTD-interacting domain, CID). However, the mechanism by which transcription termination is achieved is not understood. Using genome-wide methods, here we show that the fission yeast CID-protein Seb1 is essential for termination of protein-coding and non-coding genes through interaction with S2-phosphorylated Pol II and nascent RNA. Furthermore, we present the crystal structures of the Seb1 CTD- and RNA-binding modules. Unexpectedly, the latter reveals an intertwined two-domain arrangement of a canonical RRM and second domain. These results provide important insights into the mechanism underlying eukaryotic transcription termination.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Base Sequence
  • Cell Survival
  • Conserved Sequence*
  • Crystallography, X-Ray
  • Genes, Fungal
  • Models, Biological
  • Models, Molecular
  • Nuclear Proteins / chemistry
  • Nuclear Proteins / metabolism*
  • Open Reading Frames / genetics
  • Phosphorylation
  • Point Mutation / genetics
  • Protein Binding
  • Protein Domains
  • RNA Polymerase II / metabolism*
  • RNA, Fungal / metabolism*
  • RNA-Binding Proteins / chemistry
  • RNA-Binding Proteins / metabolism*
  • Saccharomyces cerevisiae Proteins / metabolism
  • Schizosaccharomyces / genetics*
  • Schizosaccharomyces pombe Proteins / chemistry
  • Schizosaccharomyces pombe Proteins / metabolism*
  • Structure-Activity Relationship
  • Substrate Specificity
  • Transcription Termination, Genetic*


  • Nuclear Proteins
  • RNA, Fungal
  • RNA-Binding Proteins
  • Saccharomyces cerevisiae Proteins
  • Schizosaccharomyces pombe Proteins
  • Seb1 protein, S pombe
  • RNA Polymerase II