Relationships between PROMPT and gene expression

Marta Lloret Llinares, Christophe Kamungu Mapendano, Lasse Hynkemejer Martlev, Søren Lykke-Andersen, Torben Heick Jensen

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Most mammalian protein-coding gene promoters are divergent, yielding promoter upstream transcripts (PROMPTs) in the reverse direction from their conventionally produced mRNAs. PROMPTs are rapidly degraded by the RNA exosome rendering a general function of these molecules elusive. Yet, levels of certain PROMPTs are altered in stress conditions, like the DNA damage response (DDR), suggesting a possible regulatory role for at least a subset of these molecules. Here we manipulate PROMPT levels by either exosome depletion or UV treatment and analyze possible effects on their neighboring genes. For the CTSZ and DAP genes we find that TFIIB and TBP promoter binding decrease when PROMPTs accumulate. Moreover, DNA methylation increases concomitant with the recruitment of the DNA methyltransferase DNMT3B. Thus, although a correlation between increased PROMPT levels and decreased gene activity is generally absent, some promoters may have co-opted their divergent transcript production for regulatory purposes.

Original languageEnglish
JournalRNA Biology
Pages (from-to)6-14
Number of pages9
Publication statusPublished - 2 Jan 2016


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