Transcription elongation is finely tuned by dozens of regulatory factors

Elife. 2022 May 16;11:e78944. doi: 10.7554/eLife.78944.


Understanding the complex network that regulates transcription elongation requires the quantitative analysis of RNA polymerase II (Pol II) activity in a wide variety of regulatory environments. We performed native elongating transcript sequencing (NET-seq) in 41 strains of Saccharomyces cerevisiae lacking known elongation regulators, including RNA processing factors, transcription elongation factors, chromatin modifiers, and remodelers. We found that the opposing effects of these factors balance transcription elongation and antisense transcription. Different sets of factors tightly regulate Pol II progression across gene bodies so that Pol II density peaks at key points of RNA processing. These regulators control where Pol II pauses with each obscuring large numbers of potential pause sites that are primarily determined by DNA sequence and shape. Antisense transcription varies highly across the regulatory landscapes analyzed, but antisense transcription in itself does not affect sense transcription at the same locus. Our findings collectively show that a diverse array of factors regulate transcription elongation by precisely balancing Pol II activity.

Keywords: Pol II pausing; S. cerevisiae; antisense transcription; chromosomes; gene expression; genetics; genomics; transcription elongation.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Base Sequence
  • RNA Polymerase II / genetics
  • RNA Polymerase II / metabolism
  • Saccharomyces cerevisiae Proteins* / genetics
  • Saccharomyces cerevisiae Proteins* / metabolism
  • Saccharomyces cerevisiae* / genetics
  • Saccharomyces cerevisiae* / metabolism
  • Transcription, Genetic
  • Transcriptional Elongation Factors / genetics


  • Saccharomyces cerevisiae Proteins
  • Transcriptional Elongation Factors
  • RNA Polymerase II

Associated data

  • GEO/GSE159603
  • GEO/GSE98397