Regulation of heat shock gene expression by RNA polymerase II elongation factor, elongin A

Mark Gerber, Kristen Tenney, Joan W. Conaway, Ronald C. Conaway, Joel C. Eissenberg, Ali Shilatifard

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

32 Scopus citations


The elongation stage of transcription by RNA polymerase II (Pol II) has emerged as an essential regulated step. Elongin A (EloA) is the largest subunit of the Elongin complex that can increase the catalytic rate of mRNA synthesis by Pol II. We recently demonstrated that the Elongin A homologue in Drosophila, dEloA, is essential and has properties consistent with those of a Pol II elongation factor in vivo. The goal of this study was to test whether dEloA is required for heat shock gene transcription, since heat shock gene expression is thought to be controlled at the level of Pol II elongation. Here, we demonstrate that dEloA is rapidly recruited to heat shock loci with Pol II in response to heat shock. Furthermore, through the use of RNA interference in vivo, we show that dEloA is required for the proper expression of one of these genes, HSP70, and that its requirement for heat shock gene expression is exerted after the initiation of transcription at heat shock loci. Our data represent the first demonstration of an essential role for an RNA polymerase II elongation factor in the regulation of heat shock gene expression in an animal model.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4017-4020
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Issue number6
StatePublished - Feb 11 2005
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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