Genome-wide R-loop analysis defines unique roles for DDX5, XRN2, and PRMT5 in DNA/RNA hybrid resolution

Life Sci Alliance. 2020 Aug 3;3(10):e202000762. doi: 10.26508/lsa.202000762. Print 2020 Oct.


DDX5, XRN2, and PRMT5 have been shown to resolve DNA/RNA hybrids (R-loops) at RNA polymerase II transcription termination sites at few genomic loci. Herein, we perform genome-wide R-loop mapping using classical DNA/RNA immunoprecipitation and high-throughput sequencing (DRIP-seq) of loci regulated by DDX5, XRN2, and PRMT5. We observed hundreds to thousands of R-loop gains and losses at transcribed loci in DDX5-, XRN2-, and PRMT5-deficient U2OS cells. R-loop gains were characteristic of highly transcribed genes located at gene-rich regions, whereas R-loop losses were observed in low-density gene areas. DDX5, XRN2, and PRMT5 shared many R-loop gain loci at transcription termination sites, consistent with their coordinated role in RNA polymerase II transcription termination. DDX5-depleted cells had unique R-loop gain peaks near the transcription start site that did not overlap with those of siXRN2 and siPRMT5 cells, suggesting a role for DDX5 in transcription initiation independent of XRN2 and PRMT5. Moreover, we observed that the accumulated R-loops at certain loci in siDDX5, siXRN2, and siPRMT5 cells near the transcription start site of genes led to antisense intergenic transcription. Our findings define unique and shared roles of DDX5, XRN2, and PRMT5 in DNA/RNA hybrid regulation.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Cell Line
  • DEAD-box RNA Helicases / genetics
  • DEAD-box RNA Helicases / metabolism*
  • DNA / genetics
  • Exoribonucleases / genetics
  • Exoribonucleases / metabolism*
  • Genomics / methods
  • Humans
  • Immunoprecipitation / methods
  • Nucleic Acid Hybridization / genetics
  • Protein-Arginine N-Methyltransferases / genetics
  • Protein-Arginine N-Methyltransferases / metabolism*
  • R-Loop Structures / genetics*
  • R-Loop Structures / physiology
  • RNA / genetics
  • RNA Polymerase II / genetics
  • Transcription Termination, Genetic / physiology
  • Transcription, Genetic / genetics


  • RNA
  • DNA
  • PRMT5 protein, human
  • Protein-Arginine N-Methyltransferases
  • RNA Polymerase II
  • Exoribonucleases
  • XRN2 protein, human
  • Ddx5 protein, human
  • DEAD-box RNA Helicases