The point of no return: a novel poly(A)-associated elongation checkpoint controlling gene expression


  • Prof Shona Murphy

    University of Oxford

Project summary

Professor Murphy aims to investigate a potential CDK9-regulated transcription-elongation checkpoint that is associated with polyadenylation signals at the end of protein-coding genes. This functions in addition to the well-known CDK9-dependent early-elongation checkpoint at the beginning of genes, and the failure of RNA polymerase II to negotiate this polyadenylation-associated checkpoint aborts transcription elongation prematurely. This checkpoint may provide a final quality-control step for mRNAs at the point of no return, after which a potentially functional mRNA is produced. Polyadenylation-associated checkpoints could therefore provide a powerful and rapid mechanism for the control of transcription in response to a range of signals, such as during development, where synchronous activation and repression of gene expression is required.