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You are here: Home / Teams / Chromatin Dynamics in Chromosome Architecture - P. Bernard / Publications / RNA polymerase backtracking results in the accumulation of fission yeast condensin at active genes.

RNA polymerase backtracking results in the accumulation of fission yeast condensin at active genes.

Julieta Rivosecchi, Daniel Jost, Laetitia Vachez, François D Gautier, Pascal Bernard, and Vincent Vanoosthuyse (2021)

Life Sci Alliance, 4(6).

The mechanisms leading to the accumulation of the SMC complexes condensins aroundspecific transcription units remain unclear. Observations made in bacteria suggestedthat RNA polymerases (RNAPs) constitute an obstacle to SMC translocation,particularly when RNAP and SMC travel in opposite directions. Here we show infission yeast that gene termini harbour intrinsic condensin-accumulating featureswhatever the orientation of transcription, which we attribute to the frequentbacktracking of RNAP at gene ends. Consistent with this, to relocate backtrackedRNAP2 from gene termini to gene bodies was sufficient to cancel the accumulation ofcondensin at gene ends and to redistribute it evenly within transcription units,indicating that RNAP backtracking may play a key role in positioning condensin.Formalization of this hypothesis in a mathematical model suggests that the inclusionof a sub-population of RNAP with longer dwell-times is essential to fullyrecapitulate the distribution profiles of condensin around active genes. Takentogether, our data strengthen the idea that dense arrays of proteins tightly boundto DNA alter the distribution of condensin on chromosomes.

 
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