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E-GEOD-63314 - Stably-paused genes revealed through inhibition of transcription initiation by the TFIIH inhibitor Triptolide

Released on 5 January 2015, last updated on 3 April 2015
Homo sapiens
Samples (23)
Protocols (3)
Transcription by RNA Polymerase II (Pol II) in metazoan is regulated in several steps, including preinitiation complex (PIC) formation, initiation, Pol II escape, productive elongation, cotranscriptional RNA-processing and termination. Genome-wide studies have demonstrated that the phenomenon of promoter-bound Pol II pausing is widespread, especially for genes involved in developmental and stimulus-responsive pathways. However, a mechanistic understanding of the paused Pol II states at promoters is limited. For example, at a global level, it’s unclear to what extent the engaged paused Pol II is stably tethered to the promoter or undergoes rapid cycles of initiation and termination. Here we used the small molecule Triptolide (TPL), an XPB/TFIIH inhibitor, to block transcriptional initiation followed by measuring Pol II occupancy by ChIP-seq. This inhibition of initiation enables us to investigate different states of paused Pol II. Specifically, our global analysis reveals that most genes with paused Pol II, as defined by pausing index, show significant clearance of Pol II during the period of TPL treatment. Our study further identifies a group of genes with unexpectedly stably-paused Pol II, with unchanged Pol II occupancy even after one hour of inhibition of initiation. This group of genes constitutes a small portion of all paused genes defined by the conventional criterion of pausing index. These findings could pave the way for evaluating the contribution of different elongation/pausing factors on different states of Pol II pausing in developmental and other stimulus-responsive pathways. ChIP-Seq of total/Ser5P Pol II in HCT116 cells treated with DMSO or TPL in serum starvation/activation or normal conditions. Nascent RNA-seq in HCT116 cells treated with DMSO or TPL in starved condition.
Experiment types
ChIP-seq, RNA-seq of coding RNA 
Ali Shilatifard, Fei Chen, Xin Gao
Exp. designProtocolsVariablesProcessedSeq. reads