Transcription recycling assays identify PAF1 as a driver for RNA Pol II recycling

Nat Commun. 2021 Nov 3;12(1):6318. doi: 10.1038/s41467-021-26604-1.


RNA Polymerase II (Pol II) transcriptional recycling is a mechanism for which the required factors and contributions to overall gene expression levels are poorly understood. We describe an in vitro methodology facilitating unbiased identification of putative RNA Pol II transcriptional recycling factors and quantitative measurement of transcriptional output from recycled transcriptional components. Proof-of-principle experiments identified PAF1 complex components among recycling factors and detected defective transcriptional output from Pol II recycling following PAF1 depletion. Dynamic ChIP-seq confirmed PAF1 silencing triggered defective Pol II recycling in human cells. Prostate tumors exhibited enhanced transcriptional recycling, which was attenuated by antibody-based PAF1 depletion. These findings identify Pol II recycling as a potential target in cancer and demonstrate the applicability of in vitro and cellular transcription assays to characterize Pol II recycling in other disease states.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Cell Line, Tumor
  • HeLa Cells
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Neoplasms
  • Nuclear Proteins / metabolism
  • RNA Polymerase II / metabolism*
  • Transcription Factors / genetics
  • Transcription Factors / isolation & purification*
  • Transcription Factors / metabolism*
  • Transcription, Genetic


  • Nuclear Proteins
  • PAF1 protein, human
  • Transcription Factors
  • RNA Polymerase II