Pausing and premature termination of human RNA polymerase II during transcription of adenovirus in vivo and in vitro
RNA Polymerase II
The major late transcriptional unit of adenovirus type 2 has served as a model for studying transcription in eukaryotes. We report that pausing and premature termination are intrinsic to the transcription of this transcriptional unit by RNA polymerase II. In vivo and in isolated nuclei, transcription pauses at discrete sites proximal to the initiation site and can prematurely terminate at nucleotide 175 and possibly also at nucleotide 120. The prematurely terminated RNAs are not associated with the transcription complexes and accumulate in the cell nucleus in vivo, whereas paused RNAs remain associated with the transcription complexes and elongate into full-length transcripts. Pausing is also reproduced in the transcription complexes in a soluble system. 5,6-Dichloro-1-beta-D-ribofuranosylbenzimidazole enhances pausing but not premature termination, and its action is reversible. The proposed premature termination site at nucleotide 175 in adenovirus type 2 bears sequence homology to the tR1 site in coliphage lambda.