WDR82/PNUTS-PP1 Prevents Transcription-Replication Conflicts by Promoting RNA Polymerase II Degradation on Chromatin

Cell Rep. 2020 Dec 1;33(9):108469. doi: 10.1016/j.celrep.2020.108469.


Transcription-replication (T-R) conflicts cause replication stress and loss of genome integrity. However, the transcription-related processes that restrain such conflicts are poorly understood. Here, we demonstrate that the RNA polymerase II (RNAPII) C-terminal domain (CTD) phosphatase protein phosphatase 1 (PP1) nuclear targeting subunit (PNUTS)-PP1 inhibits replication stress. Depletion of PNUTS causes lower EdU uptake, S phase accumulation, and slower replication fork rates. In addition, the PNUTS binding partner WDR82 also promotes RNAPII-CTD dephosphorylation and suppresses replication stress. RNAPII has a longer residence time on chromatin after depletion of PNUTS or WDR82. Furthermore, the RNAPII residence time is greatly enhanced by proteasome inhibition in control cells but less so in PNUTS- or WDR82-depleted cells, indicating that PNUTS and WDR82 promote degradation of RNAPII on chromatin. Notably, reduced replication is dependent on transcription and the phospho-CTD binding protein CDC73 after depletion of PNUTS/WDR82. Altogether, our results suggest that RNAPII-CTD dephosphorylation is required for the continuous turnover of RNAPII on chromatin, thereby preventing T-R conflicts.

Keywords: CDC73; CTD phosphorylation; Cancer; PNUTS; PP1 phosphatase; Proteasome-mediated degradation; RNA polymerase II; Replication stress; Transcription-replication conflicts; WDR82.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't