Baejen C, Andreani J, Torkler P, Battaglia S, Schwalb B, Lidschreiber M, Maier KC, Boltendahl A, Rus P, Esslinger S, Söding J, Cramer P
Mol. Cell 66 (1) 38-49.e6 [2017-04-06; online 2017-03-16]
At the end of protein-coding genes, RNA polymerase (Pol) II undergoes a concerted transition that involves 3'-processing of the pre-mRNA and transcription termination. Here, we present a genome-wide analysis of the 3'-transition in budding yeast. We find that the 3'-transition globally requires the Pol II elongation factor Spt5 and factors involved in the recognition of the polyadenylation (pA) site and in endonucleolytic RNA cleavage. Pol II release from DNA occurs in a narrow termination window downstream of the pA site and requires the "torpedo" exonuclease Rat1 (XRN2 in human). The Rat1-interacting factor Rai1 contributes to RNA degradation downstream of the pA site. Defects in the 3'-transition can result in increased transcription at downstream genes.