Transcriptional regulation by small RNAs at sequences downstream from 3-2 gene termini

Xuan Yue, Jacob C. Schwartz, Yongjun Chu, Scott T. Younger, Keith T. Gagnon, Sayda Elbashir, Bethany A. Janowski, David R. Corey

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

95 Scopus citations


Transcriptome studies reveal many noncoding transcripts overlapping 3-2 gene termini. The function of these transcripts is unknown. Here we have characterized transcription at the progesterone receptor (PR) locus and identified noncoding transcripts that overlap the 3-2 end of the gene. Small RNAs complementary to sequences beyond the 3-2 terminus of PR mRNA modulated expression of PR, recruited argonaute 2 to a 3-2 noncoding transcript, altered occupancy of RNA polymerase II, induced chromatin changes at the PR promoter and affected responses to physiological stimuli. We found that the promoter and 3-2 terminal regions of the PR locus are in close proximity, providing a potential mechanism for RNA-mediated control of transcription over long genomic distances. These results extend the potential for small RNAs to regulate transcription to target sequences beyond the 3-2 termini of mRNA.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)621-629
Number of pages9
JournalNature chemical biology
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 2010

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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