Main content area

Stimulation of Pol III‐dependent 5S rRNA and U6 snRNA gene expression by AP‐1 transcription factors

Ahuja, Richa, Kumar, Vijay
The FEBS journal 2017 v.284 no.13 pp. 2066-2077
DNA-directed RNA polymerase, acetylation, biogenesis, cell cycle, cell growth, cell proliferation, chromatin, gene expression, genes, histone acetyltransferase, histones, non-coding RNA, precipitin tests, promoter regions, protein synthesis, ribosomal RNA, ribosomes, small nuclear RNA, transcription (genetics), transcription factors
RNA polymerase III transcribes structurally diverse group of essential noncoding RNAs including 5S ribosomal RNA (5SrRNA) and U6 snRNA. These noncoding RNAs are involved in RNA processing and ribosome biogenesis, thus, coupling Pol III activity to the rate of protein synthesis, cell growth, and proliferation. Even though a few Pol II‐associated transcription factors have been reported to participate in Pol III‐dependent transcription, its activation by activator protein 1 (AP‐1) factors, c‐Fos and c‐Jun, has remained unexplored. Here, we show that c‐Fos and c‐Jun bind to specific sites in the regulatory regions of 5S rRNA (type I) and U6 snRNA (type III) gene promoters and stimulate their transcription. Our chromatin immunoprecipitation studies suggested that endogenous AP‐1 factors bind to their cognate promoter elements during the G1/S transition of cell cycle apparently synchronous with Pol III transcriptional activity. Furthermore, the interaction of c‐Jun with histone acetyltransferase p300 promoted the recruitment of p300/CBP complex on the promoters and facilitated the occupancy of Pol III transcriptional machinery via histone acetylation and chromatin remodeling. The findings of our study, together, suggest that AP‐1 factors are novel regulators of Pol III‐driven 5S rRNA and U6 snRNA expression with a potential role in cell proliferation.