Common mechanism of transcription termination at coding and noncoding RNA genes in fission yeast

Nat Commun. 2018 Oct 19;9(1):4364. doi: 10.1038/s41467-018-06546-x.


Termination of RNA polymerase II (RNAPII) transcription is a fundamental step of gene expression that is critical for determining the borders between genes. In budding yeast, termination at protein-coding genes is initiated by the cleavage/polyadenylation machinery, whereas termination of most noncoding RNA (ncRNA) genes occurs via the Nrd1-Nab3-Sen1 (NNS) pathway. Here, we find that NNS-like transcription termination is not conserved in fission yeast. Rather, genome-wide analyses show global recruitment of mRNA 3' end processing factors at the end of ncRNA genes, including snoRNAs and snRNAs, and that this recruitment coincides with high levels of Ser2 and Tyr1 phosphorylation on the RNAPII C-terminal domain. We also find that termination of mRNA and ncRNA transcription requires the conserved Ysh1/CPSF-73 and Dhp1/XRN2 nucleases, supporting widespread cleavage-dependent transcription termination in fission yeast. Our findings thus reveal that a common mode of transcription termination can produce functionally and structurally distinct types of polyadenylated and non-polyadenylated RNAs.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • DNA Helicases / genetics
  • DNA Helicases / metabolism
  • DNA Helicases / physiology
  • RNA / genetics*
  • RNA Helicases / genetics
  • RNA Helicases / metabolism
  • RNA Helicases / physiology
  • RNA Polymerase II / metabolism
  • RNA Polymerase II / physiology
  • RNA-Binding Proteins / genetics
  • RNA-Binding Proteins / metabolism
  • RNA-Binding Proteins / physiology
  • Schizosaccharomyces / genetics*
  • Species Specificity
  • Transcription Termination, Genetic / physiology*


  • RNA-Binding Proteins
  • RNA
  • RNA Polymerase II
  • sen1 protein, S pombe
  • DNA Helicases
  • RNA Helicases