Cold Spring Harbor Symposia on Quantitative Biology, vol. 81 (2012) pp. 119-43
Regulation of the elongation phase of transcription by RNA polymerase II (Pol II) is utilized extensively to generate the pattern of mRNAs needed to specify cell types and to respond to environmental changes. After Pol II initiates, negative elongation factors cause it to pause in a promoter proximal position. These polymerases are poised to respond to the positive transcription elongation factor P-TEFb, and then enter productive elongation only under the appropriate set of signals to generate full-length properly processed mRNAs. Recent global analyses of Pol II and elongation factors, mechanisms that regulate P-TEFb involving the 7SK small nuclear ribonucleoprotein (snRNP), factors that control both the negative and positive elongation properties of Pol II, and the mRNA processing events that are coupled with elongation are discussed.
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